WorldWideScience

Sample records for important perennial crops

  1. Managing for Multifunctionality in Perennial Grain Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Matthew R; Crews, Timothy E; Culman, Steven W; DeHaan, Lee R; Hayes, Richard C; Jungers, Jacob M; Bakker, Matthew G

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Plant breeders are increasing yields and improving agronomic traits in several perennial grain crops, the first of which is now being incorporated into commercial food products. Integration strategies and management guidelines are needed to optimize production of these new crops, which differ substantially from both annual grain crops and perennial forages. To offset relatively low grain yields, perennial grain cropping systems should be multifunctional. Growing perennial grains for several years to regenerate soil health before rotating to annual crops and growing perennial grains on sloped land and ecologically sensitive areas to reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses are two strategies that can provide ecosystem services and support multifunctionality. Several perennial cereals can be used to produce both grain and forage, and these dual-purpose crops can be intercropped with legumes for additional benefits. Highly diverse perennial grain polycultures can further enhance ecosystem services, but increased management complexity might limit their adoption. PMID:29662249

  2. Tradeoffs between water requirements and yield stability in annual vs. perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vico, Giulia; Brunsell, Nathaniel A.

    2018-02-01

    Population growth and changes in climate and diets will likely further increase the pressure on agriculture and water resources globally. Currently, staple crops are obtained from annuals plants. A shift towards perennial crops may enhance many ecosystem services, but at the cost of higher water requirements and lower yields. It is still unclear when the advantages of perennial crops overcome their disadvantages and perennial crops are thus a sustainable solution. Here we combine a probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development with an extensive dataset of traits of congeneric annuals and perennials to identify the conditions for which perennial crops are more viable than annual ones with reference to yield, yield stability, and effective use of water. We show that the larger and more developed roots of perennial crops allow a better exploitation of soil water resources and a reduction of yield variability with respect to annual species, but their yields remain lower when considering grain crops. Furthermore, perennial crops have higher and more variable irrigation requirements and lower water productivity. These results are important to understand the potential consequences for yield, its stability, and water resource use of a shift from annual to perennial crops and, more generally, if perennial crops may be more resilient than annual crops in the face of climatic fluctuations.

  3. A generic model for estimating biomass accumulation and greenhouse gas emissions from perennial crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledo, Alicia; Heathcote, Richard; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Hillier, Jonathan

    2017-04-01

    Agriculture is essential to maintain humankind but is, at the same time, a substantial emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With a rising global population, the need for agriculture to provide secure food and energy supply is one of the main human challenges. At the same time, it is the only sector which has significant potential for negative emissions through the sequestration of carbon and offsetting via supply of feedstock for energy production. Perennial crops accumulate carbon during their lifetime and enhance organic soil carbon increase via root senescence and decomposition. However, inconsistency in accounting for this stored biomass undermines efforts to assess the benefits of such cropping systems when applied at scale. A consequence of this exclusion is that efforts to manage this important carbon stock are neglected. Detailed information on carbon balance is crucial to identify the main processes responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in order to develop strategic mitigation programs. Perennial crops systems represent 30% in area of total global crop systems, a considerable amount to be ignored. Furthermore, they have a major standing both in the bioenergy and global food industries. In this study, we first present a generic model to calculate the carbon balance and GHGs emissions from perennial crops, covering both food and bioenergy crops. The model is composed of two simple process-based sub-models, to cover perennial grasses and other perennial woody plants. The first is a generic individual based sub-model (IBM) covering crops in which the yield is the fruit and the plant biomass is an unharvested residue. Trees, shrubs and climbers fall into this category. The second model is a generic area based sub-model (ABM) covering perennial grasses, in which the harvested part includes some of the plant parts in which the carbon storage is accounted. Most second generation perennial bioenergy crops fall into this category. Both generic sub

  4. Agroecology of Novel Annual and Perennial Crops for Biomass Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Jørgensen, Uffe; Lærke, Poul Erik

    The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production.......The agroecological potential of many crops under sustainable intensification has not been investigated. This study investigates such potential for novel annual and perennial crops grown for biomass production....

  5. A Systematic Review of Perennial Staple Crops Literature Using Topic Modeling and Bibliometric Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Research on perennial staple crops has increased in the past ten years due to their potential to improve ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, multiple past breeding efforts as well as research on traditional ratoon systems mean there is already a broad body of literature on perennial crops. In this review, we compare the development of research on perennial staple crops, including wheat, rice, rye, sorghum, and pigeon pea. We utilized the advanced search capabilities of Web of Science, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Agricola to gather a library of 914 articles published from 1930 to the present. We analyzed the metadata in the entire library and in collections of literature on each crop to understand trends in research and publishing. In addition, we applied topic modeling to the article abstracts, a type of text analysis that identifies frequently co-occurring terms and latent topics. We found: 1.) Research on perennials is increasing overall, but individual crops have each seen periods of heightened interest and research activity; 2.) Specialist journals play an important role in supporting early research efforts. Research often begins within communities of specialists or breeders for the individual crop before transitioning to a more general scientific audience; 3.) Existing perennial agricultural systems and their domesticated crop material, such as ratoon rice systems, can provide a useful foundation for breeding efforts, accelerating the development of truly perennial crops and farming systems; 4.) Primary research is lacking for crops that are produced on a smaller scale globally, such as pigeon pea and sorghum, and on the ecosystem service benefits of perennial agricultural systems. PMID:27213283

  6. Perennial Grass Bioenergy Cropping on Wet Marginal Land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, Srabani; Teuffer, Karin; Stoof, Cathelijne R.; Walter, Michael F.; Walter, M.T.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.; Richards, Brian K.

    2018-01-01

    The control of soil moisture, vegetation type, and prior land use on soil health parameters of perennial grass cropping systems on marginal lands is not well known. A fallow wetness-prone marginal site in New York (USA) was converted to perennial grass bioenergy feedstock production. Quadruplicate

  7. Bacterial endophytes of perennial crops for management of plant disease

    OpenAIRE

    Melnick, Rachel L.; Bailey, B.A.; Backman, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record Bacterial endophytes, microorganisms which inhabit the internal tissues of plants, can suppress disease and are often used as a biological control in annual crops. Less research, however, has been applied to the use of bacterial endophytes to prevent disease in perennial crops, which presents a more complex challenge. However, exploration of their potential as a biological control in perennial crops has been limited. This chapter assembles current knowledge on the subj...

  8. Supporting Agricultural Ecosystem Services through the Integration of Perennial Polycultures into Crop Rotations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Weißhuhn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This review analyzes the potential role and long-term effects of field perennial polycultures (mixtures in agricultural systems, with the aim of reducing the trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. First, crop rotations are identified as a suitable tool for the assessment of the long-term effects of perennial polycultures on ecosystem services, which are not visible at the single-crop level. Second, the ability of perennial polycultures to support ecosystem services when used in crop rotations is quantified through eight agricultural ecosystem services. Legume–grass mixtures and wildflower mixtures are used as examples of perennial polycultures, and compared with silage maize as a typical crop for biomass production. Perennial polycultures enhance soil fertility, soil protection, climate regulation, pollination, pest and weed control, and landscape aesthetics compared with maize. They also score lower for biomass production compared with maize, which confirms the trade-off between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. However, the additional positive factors provided by perennial polycultures, such as reduced costs for mineral fertilizer, pesticides, and soil tillage, and a significant preceding crop effect that increases the yields of subsequent crops, should be taken into account. However, a full assessment of agricultural ecosystem services requires a more holistic analysis that is beyond the capabilities of current frameworks.

  9. Totally impermeable film (TIF reduces emissions in perennial crop fumigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suduan Gao

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Many perennial nursery fields and replanted orchards and vineyards in California are treated with preplant soil fumigants to control soilborne pests. In annual crops, such as strawberry, covering fumigated fields with totally impermeable film (TIF has shown promise in controlling emissions and improving fumigant distribution in soil. The objective of this research was to optimize the use of TIF for perennial crops via three field trials. TIF reduced peak emission flux and cumulative emissions by > 90% relative to polyethylene tarp during a 2-week covering period. After the TIF was cut, emissions were greatly reduced compared to when tarps were cut after 6 days. TIF maintained higher fumigant concentrations under tarp and in the soil than polyethylene film. The results indicate that TIF can increase fumigation efficiency for perennial crop growers.

  10. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean-Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Köhl, Jürgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such initiatives are often fragmented. The operational outputs of national efforts would benefit from closer collaboration among stakeholders via transnationally coordinated approaches, as most economically important pests are similar across Europe. This paper proposes a common European framework on biocontrol R&I. It identifies generic R&I bottlenecks and needs as well as priorities for three crop types (arable, vegetable and perennial crops). The existing gap between the market offers of biocontrol solutions and the demand of growers, the lengthy and expensive registration process for biocontrol solutions and their varying effectiveness due to variable climatic conditions and site-specific factors across Europe are key obstacles hindering the development and adoption of biocontrol solutions in Europe. Considering arable, vegetable and perennial crops, a dozen common target pests are identified for each type of crop and ranked by order of importance at European level. Such a ranked list indicates numerous topics on which future joint transnational efforts would be justified. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, Henrik B.

    2008-01-01

    Perennial crops need far less energy to plant, require less fertilizer and pesticides, and show a lower negative environmental impact compared with annual crops like for example corn. This makes the cultivation of perennial crops as energy crops more sustainable than the use of annual crops....... The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...... oxidation to the perennial crops, however, the specific methane yield increases significantly and the ratio of energy output to input and of costs to benefit for the whole chain of biomass supply and conversion into biogas becomes higher than for corn. This will make the use of perennial crops as energy...

  12. Direct control of perennial weeds between crops - Implication for organic farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Melander, Bo; Holst, Niels; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2012-01-01

    and ending the strategy with mouldboard ploughing in the succeeding spring. Grain yields did not differ among the treatments in the two experiments as a result of the generally high effectiveness exerted by the control strategies. Especially post-harvest control strategies based on rotating weed devices...... and mouldboard ploughing appear to be effective solutions against mixed stands of perennials on sandy soils but they do not comply with optimal nutrient management in organic cropping. Therefore, intensive autumn cultivation is only relevant where a perennial weed problem is uncontrollable by other means.......Perennial weeds can be a major constraint to organic crop production and direct control actions applied between crops can then be necessary to reduce the problems. We conducted two experiments, one on a sandy loam and one on a sandy soil in Denmark, with the aim of studying the efficacy...

  13. Impact of perennial energy crops income variability on the crop selection of risk averse farmers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, Peter; Moran, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    The UK Government policy is for the area of perennial energy crops in the UK to expand significantly. Farmers need to choose these crops in preference to conventional rotations for this to be achievable. This paper looks at the potential level and variability of perennial energy crop incomes and the relation to incomes from conventional arable crops. Assuming energy crop prices are correlated to oil prices the results suggests that incomes from them are not well correlated to conventional arable crop incomes. A farm scale mathematical programming model is then used to attempt to understand the affect on risk averse farmers crop selection. The inclusion of risk reduces the energy crop price required for the selection of these crops. However yields towards the highest of those predicted in the UK are still required to make them an optimal choice, suggesting only a small area of energy crops within the UK would be expected to be chosen to be grown. This must be regarded as a tentative conclusion, primarily due to high sensitivity found to crop yields, resulting in the proposal for further work to apply the model using spatially disaggregated data. - Highlights: ► Energy crop and conventional crop incomes suggested as uncorrelated. ► Diversification effect of energy crops investigated for a risk averse farmer. ► Energy crops indicated as optimal selection only on highest yielding UK sites. ► Large establishment grant rates to substantially alter crop selections.

  14. Introducing perennial biomass crops into agricultural landscapes to address water quality challenges and provide other environmental services: Integrating perennial bioenergy crops into agricultural landscapes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cacho, J. F. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Negri, M. C. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Zumpf, C. R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA; Campbell, P. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL USA

    2017-11-29

    The world is faced with a difficult multiple challenge of meeting nutritional, energy, and other basic needs, under a limited land and water budget, of between 9 and 10 billion people in the next three decades, mitigating impacts of climate change, and making agricultural production resilient. More productivity is expected from agricultural lands, but intensification of production could further impact the integrity of our finite surface water and groundwater resources. Integrating perennial bioenergy crops in agricultural lands could provide biomass for biofuel and potential improvements on the sustainability of commodity crop production. This article provides an overview of ways in which research has shown that perennial bioenergy grasses and short rotation woody crops can be incorporated into agricultural production systems with reduced indirect land use change, while increasing water quality benefits. Current challenges and opportunities as well as future directions are also highlighted.

  15. Energizing marginal soils: A perennial cropping system for Sida hermaphrodita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabel, Moritz; Poorter, Hendrik; Temperton, Vicky; Schrey, Silvia D.; Koller, Robert; Schurr, Ulrich; Jablonowski, Nicolai D.

    2017-04-01

    As a way to avoid land use conflicts, the use of marginal soils for the production of plant biomass can be a sustainable alternative to conventional biomass production (e.g. maize). However, new cropping strategies have to be found that meet the challenge of crop production under marginal soil conditions. We aim for increased soil fertility by the use of the perennial crop Sida hermaphrodita in combination with organic fertilization and legume intercropping to produce substantial biomass yield. We present results of a three-year outdoor mesocosm experiment testing the perennial energy crop Sida hermaphrodita grown on a marginal model substrate (sand) with four kinds of fertilization (Digestate broadcast, Digestate Depot, mineral NPK and unfertilized control) in combination with legume intercropping. After three years, organic fertilization (via biogas digestate) compared to mineral fertilization (NPK), reduced the nitrate concentration in leachate and increased the soil carbon content. Biomass yields of Sida were 25% higher when fertilized organically, compared to mineral fertilizer. In general, digestate broadcast application reduced root growth and the wettability of the sandy substrate. However, when digestate was applied locally as depot to the rhizosphere, root growth increased and the wettability of the sandy substrate was preserved. Depot fertilization increased biomass yield by 10% compared to digestate broadcast fertilization. We intercropped Sida with various legumes (Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Melilotus spp. and Medicago sativa) to enable biological nitrogen fixation and make the cropping system independent from synthetically produced fertilizers. We could show that Medicago sativa grown on marginal substrate fixed large amounts of N, especially when fertilized organically, whereas mineral fertilization suppressed biological nitrogen fixation. We conclude that the perennial energy crop Sida in combination with organic fertilization has great

  16. Genomics: a potential panacea for the perennial problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClure, Kendra A; Sawler, Jason; Gardner, Kyle M; Money, Daniel; Myles, Sean

    2014-10-01

    Perennial crops represent important fresh and processed food sources worldwide, but advancements in breeding perennials are often impeded due to their very nature. The perennial crops we rely on most for food take several years to reach production maturity and require large spaces to grow, which make breeding new cultivars costly compared with most annual crops. Because breeding perennials is inefficient and expensive, they are often grown in monocultures consisting of small numbers of elite cultivars that are vegetatively propagated for decades or even centuries. This practice puts many perennial crops at risk for calamity since they remain stationary in the face of evolving pest and disease pressures. Although there is tremendous genetic diversity available to them, perennial crop breeders often struggle to generate commercially successful cultivars in a timely and cost-effective manner because of the high costs of breeding. Moreover, consumers often expect the same cultivars to be available indefinitely, and there is often little or no incentive for growers and retailers to take the risk of adopting new cultivars. While genomics studies linking DNA variants to commercially important traits have been performed in diverse perennial crops, the translation of these studies into accelerated breeding of improved cultivars has been limited. Here we explain the "perennial problem" in detail and demonstrate how modern genomics tools can significantly improve the cost effectiveness of breeding perennial crops and thereby prevent crucial food sources from succumbing to the perils of perpetual propagation. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  17. Modelling farmer uptake of perennial energy crops in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherrington, Chris; Moran, Dominic

    2010-01-01

    The UK Biomass Strategy suggests that to reach the technical potential of perennial energy crops such as short rotation coppice (SRC) willow and miscanthus by 2020 requires 350,000 hectares of land. This represents a more than 20-fold increase on the current 15,546 hectares. Previous research has identified several barriers to adoption, including concerns over security of income from contracts. In addition, farmers perceive returns from these crops to be lower than for conventional crops. This paper uses a farm-level linear programming model to investigate theoretical uptake of energy crops at different gross margins under the assumption of a profit-maximising decision maker, and in the absence of known barriers to adoption. The findings suggest that while SRC willow, at current prices, remains less competitive, returns to miscanthus should have encouraged adoption on a wider scale than at present. This highlights the importance of the barriers to adoption. Recently announced contracts for miscanthus appear to offer a significant premium to farmers in order to encourage them to grow the crops. This raises the question of whether a more cost-effective approach would be for government to provide guarantees addressing farmers concerns including security of income from the contracts. Such an approach should encourage adoption at lower gross margins. (author)

  18. Drought mitigation in perennial crops by fertilization and adjustments of regional yield models for future climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Blanc-Betes, E.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Masters, M. D.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Increased variability and intensity of precipitation in the Midwest agricultural belt due to climate change is a major concern. The success of perennial bioenergy crops in replacing maize for bioethanol production is dependent on sustained yields that exceed maize, and the marketing of perennial crops often emphasizes the resilience of perennial agriculture to climate stressors. Land conversion from maize for bioethanol to Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus) increases yields and annual evapotranspiration rates (ET). However, establishment of miscanthus also increases biome water use efficiency (the ratio between net ecosystem productivity after harvest and ET), due to greater belowground biomass in miscanthus than in maize or soybean. In 2012, a widespread drought reduced the yield of 5-year-old miscanthus plots in central Illinois by 36% compared to the previous two years. Eddy covariance data indicated continued soil water deficit during the hydrologically-normal growing season in 2013 and miscanthus yield failed to rebound as expected, lagging behind pre-drought yields by an average of 53% over the next three years. In early 2014, nitrogen fertilizer was applied to half of mature (7-year-old) miscanthus plots in an effort to improve yields. In plots with annual post-emergence application of 60 kg ha-1 of urea, peak biomass was 29% greater than unfertilized miscanthus in 2014, and 113% greater in 2015, achieving statistically similar yields to the pre-drought average. Regional-scale models of perennial crop productivity use 30-year climate averages that are inadequate for predicting long-term effects of short-term extremes on perennial crops. Modeled predictions of perennial crop productivity incorporating repeated extreme weather events, observed crop response, and the use of management practices to mitigate water deficit demonstrate divergent effects on predicted yields.

  19. Investigating the Sustainability of Perennial Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherlin, C. E.; Brunsell, N. A.; De Oliveira, G.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    The changing climate leads to uncertainties concerning the sustainability of certain agricultural resources, and with the additional stresses of an increasing global population, uncertainty in food security will greatly increase. To adhere to future food demands in the face of this changing climate, perennial agriculture has been a proposed solution. However, it is equally important to assure that perennial agriculture is not negatively affecting the climate in exchange for this proposed more robust food source. We chose to examine the interactions between perennial and annual agricultural crops by focusing on the efficiency of exchanges with the atmosphere. This is done using the omega decoupling factor for 4 different sites as a way of quantifying the contributions of radiation and stomatal conductance over the resulting water and carbon cycles. This gives us an indication of how the plant canopy is interacting with, and influencing the local microclimate. Ultimately, this should give us an indication of the ability of perennial crops to aid in the climate mitigation process. We hypothesized that the perennial site chosen would have omega values more similar to the omega values of a natural grassland rather than an annual crop site. Using AmeriFlux towers to determine the canopy values needed to calculate the omega decoupling factor, we focused on the Kernza perennial crops being grown at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas (KLS), in comparison to a natural grassland in Manhattan, Kansas (KON), a typical land cover model in Lawrence, Kansas (KFS), and an annual crop site in Lamont, Oklahoma (ARM). These results will allow us to move forward in the investigation of perennial crops as a sustainable food source.

  20. Next steps in determining the overall sustainability of perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial bioenergy crops are being developed and evaluated in the United States to partially offset petroleum transport fuels. Accurate accounting of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is necessary to measure the overall carbon intensity of new biofuel feedstocks. For example, c...

  1. Gene Flow in Genetically Engineered Perennial Grasses: Lessons for Modification of Dedicated Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of dedicated bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass, will play a major role in crop improvement for a wide range of beneficial traits specific to biofuels. One obstacle that arises regarding transgenic improvement of perennials used for biofuels is the propensity of these plants t...

  2. A Decade of Carbon Flux Measurements with Annual and Perennial Crop Rotations on the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiro, B. D.; Tenuta, M.; Gao, X.; Gervais, M.

    2016-12-01

    The Fluxnet database has over 100 cropland sites, some of which have long-term (over a decade) measurements. Carbon neutrality is one goal of sustainable agriculture, although measurements over many annual cropping systems have indicated that soil carbon is often lost. Croplands are complex systems because the CO2 exchange depends on the type of crop, soil, weather, and management decisions such as planting date, nutrient fertilization and pest management strategy. Crop rotations are often used to decrease pest pressure, and can range from a simple 2-crop system, to have 4 or more crops in series. Carbon dioxide exchange has been measured using the flux-gradient technique since 2006 in agricultural systems in Manitoba, Canada. Two cropping systems are being followed: one that is a rotation of annual crops (corn, faba bean, spring wheat, rapeseed, barley, spring wheat, corn, soybean, spring wheat, soybean); and the other with a perennial phase of alfalfa/grass in years 3 to 6. Net ecosystem production ranged from a gain of 330 g C m-2 y-1 in corn to a loss of 75 g C m-2 y-1 in a poor spring-wheat crop. Over a decade, net ecosystem production for the annual cropping system was not significantly different from zero (carbon neutral), but the addition of the perennial phase increased the sink to 130 g C m-2 y-1. Once harvest removals were included, there was a net loss of carbon ranging from 77 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual system to 52 g C m-2 y-1 in the annual-perennial system; but neither of these were significantly different from zero. Termination of the perennial phase of the rotation only caused short-term increases in respiration. We conclude that both these systems were close to carbon-neutral over a decade even though they were tilled with a short growing season (90 to 130 days). We discuss the need for more datasets on agricultural systems to inform management options to increase the soil carbon sink.

  3. Assessing Water-use Relationships in a Perennial Kernza Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, G.; Brunsell, N. A.; Sutherlin, C. E.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.

    2017-12-01

    Perennial grain/forage crops can sustain high yields without replanting for 3-10 years or more, resulting in potentially important environmental benefits. Although previous research has been conducted in perennial food crops, the coupling between these ecosystems and the atmosphere is not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the magnitude and temporal variability of the water-use relationships in a perennial Kernza wheatgrass crop in Salina, north-central region of Kansas (KS), USA. The study period comprised approximately 4.5 years (May 2012-October 2016) of eddy covariance observations collected at the US-KLS AmeriFlux tower. In particular, we examine the water-use efficiency, carbon and water fluxes in relation to the local environmental factors, such as vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture, air temperature, etc. An analysis of the correspondence between accumulated precipitation (PPT) and ET in the perennial crop indicated a most likely low surface runoff and that there were other sources of water for plant intake in addition to the annual PPT, i.e., deep water. In this sense, we highlight that the long roots observed in perennial crops may facilitate the water uptake in the deeper soil layers, providing extra resources for the plant growth especially when the rainfall indices are low. The results obtained in this work are important in order to better understand the hydrologic cycle of perennial agroecosystems as well as to understand the benefits and disadvantages in relation to annual crops particularly under changing climatic conditions.

  4. Crop-associated virus reduces the rooting depth of non-crop perennial native grass more than non-crop-associated virus with known viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Bigelow, Patrick; Trębicki, Piotr; Busch, Anna K; Friel, Colleen; Cole, Ellen; Abdel-Azim, Heba; Phillippo, Colin; Alexander, Helen M

    2017-09-15

    As agricultural acreage expanded and came to dominate landscapes across the world, viruses gained opportunities to move between crop and wild native plants. In the Midwestern USA, virus exchange currently occurs between widespread annual Poaceae crops and remnant native perennial prairie grasses now under consideration as bioenergy feedstocks. In this region, the common aphid species Rhopalosiphum padi L. (the bird cherry-oat aphid) transmits several virus species in the family Luteoviridae, including Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV-PAV, genus Luteovirus) and Cereal yellow dwarf virus (CYDV-RPV and -RPS, genus Polerovirus). The yellow dwarf virus (YDV) species in these two genera share genetic similarities in their 3'-ends, but diverge in the 5'-regions. Most notably, CYDVs encode a P0 viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR) absent in BYDV-PAV. Because BYDV-PAV has been reported more frequently in annual cereals and CYDVs in perennial non-crop grasses, we examine the hypothesis that the viruses' genetic differences reflect different affinities for crop and non-crop hosts. Specifically, we ask (i) whether CYDVs might persist within and affect a native non-crop grass more strongly than BYDV-PAV, on the grounds that the polerovirus VSR could better moderate the defenses of a well-defended perennial, and (ii) whether the opposite pattern of effects might occur in a less defended annual crop. Because previous work found that the VSR of CYDV-RPS possessed greater silencing suppressor efficiency than that of CYDV-RPV, we further explored (iii) whether a novel grass-associated CYDV-RPS isolate would influence a native non-crop grass more strongly than a comparable CYDV-RPV isolate. In growth chamber studies, we found support for this hypothesis: only grass-associated CYDV-RPS stunted the shoots and crowns of Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass), a perennial native North American prairie grass, whereas crop-associated BYDV-PAV (and coinfection with BYDV-PAV and CYDV-RPS) most

  5. Recent Progress in Perennial Buckwheat Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-Fu Chen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Grains in the genus Fagopyrum have benefits to human health and are an excellent gluten-free raw material. Of all cereal foods, this genus has the highest total content of amino-acid nutrients necessary for humans; nutrients that are resistant to digestion (protein and starch resulting in their sustained release; higher dietary fiber content than key cereals, and is rich in a special healthy ingredient (flavonoids. Fagopyrum includes 24 species of which five are perennial. Among them, golden buckwheat (F.cymosum complex is the most important perennial buckwheat, which is not only used in Chinese medicine, but also has great potential in healthy food crop. In order to provide some clues for perennial crop studies and their industry development, this paper presents the state of perennial buckwheat research in terms of taxonomy; natural chemical products and pharmacological and health functions; genetics and evolution; breeding; and product development and utilization. The great advances such as successful interspecific crossing and its subsequent new perennial buckwheat varieties will speed up the development of the perennial buckwheat industry.

  6. Energy balance and cost-benefit analysis of biogas production from perennial energy crops pretreated by wet oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uellendahl, Hinrich; Wang, Guangtao; Møller, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    . The conversion into biogas in anaerobic digestion plants shows however much lower specific methane yields for the raw perennial crops like miscanthus and willow due to their lignocellulosic structure. Without pretreatment the net energy gain is therefore lower for the perennials than for corn. When applying wet...

  7. Establishment techniques in under-sown perennial ryegrass for seed production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Deleuran, Lise C; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    Establishment methods have proven to be of major importance for grass-seed production. The objective of this research was to test the effect of different sowing techniques on plant establishment and the subsequent seed yield. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is used as the model grass due...... to its large importance in Danish agriculture. In a three-year trial six different methods of under-sowing of perennial ryegrass in a spring barley cover crop were employed. Perennial ryegrass was either sown directly at different depths within the spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) rows or placed 2, 6......, or 12 cm from the spring barley rows. Results of dry-matter yield indicate that the best establishment of the grass occurred when placing the grass 6 or 12 cm from the cover-crop row, and this is of importance in less vigorous grasses. Overall, no seed-yield difference has been observed for perennial...

  8. Importance and condition of forage crops seed production in agriculture of the Republic of Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đokić Dragoslav

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available For contemporary and economical livestock production, especially cattle and sheep raising, it is necessary to achieve high production of livestock feed while reducing production costs. Improving the production of perennial grasses and legumes creates a good basis for the development of livestock production in different agro-ecological conditions of Serbia. It also establishes a link between farming and animal husbandry, which is of particular importance for the preservation and higher fertility of arable land and the protection of agro-ecosystems. An important factor for the cheaper production of livestock feed is the possibility to provide sufficient quantities of quality seeds at affordable prices. Production of quality seeds of local varieties of perennial legumes is possible to obtain sufficient amounts of good quality forage. Current situation in forage crop seed production of the Republic of Serbia is unsatisfactory because the seed of perennial grasses are mostly imported. Domestic production of alfalfa, red clover and birdsfoot trefoil met domestic needs only in some years. Seed of imported varieties are often not satisfactory because those varieties are not adapted to our local agro-ecological conditions. The present results provide the basis and direction for further researches that may provide solutions to increase seed yields and which will be widely accepted in practice, which will make the production more cost-effective. Institute for forage crops Kruševac is making a significant contribution to the development of technology of seed productions, especially alfalfa, red clover and perennial grasses. Therefore the role of the Institute is very important and necessary link between production, processing and trading seeds of perennial legumes and grasses in Serbia.

  9. Water Use and Water-Use Efficiency of Three Perennial Bioenergy Grass Crops in Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry M. Bennett

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over two-thirds of human water withdrawals are estimated to be used for agricultural production, which is expected to increase as demand for renewable liquid fuels from agricultural crops intensifies. Despite the potential implications of bioenergy crop production on water resources, few data are available on water use of perennial bioenergy grass crops. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare dry matter yield, water use, and water-use efficiency (WUE of elephantgrass, energycane, and giant reed, grown under field conditions for two growing seasons in North Central Florida. Using scaled sap flow sensor data, water use ranged from about 850 to 1150 mm during the growing season, and was generally greater for giant reed and less for elephantgrass. Despite similar or greater water use by giant reed, dry biomass yields of 35 to 40 Mg ha−1 were significantly greater for energycane and elephantgrass, resulting in greater WUE. Overall, water use by the bioenergy crops was greater than the rainfall received during the study, indicating that irrigation will be needed in the region to achieve optimal yields. Species differ in water use and WUE and species selection can play an important role with regard to potential consequences for water resources.

  10. Ecosystem-service tradeoffs associated with switching from annual to perennial energy crops in riparian zones of the US Midwest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Integration of energy crops into agricultural landscapes could promote sustainability if they are placed in ways that foster multiple ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices from existing crops. We conducted a modeling study to investigate how replacing annual energy crops with perennial energy crops along Wisconsin waterways could affect a variety of provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. We found that a switch from continuous corn production to perennial-grass production decreased annual income provisioning by 75%, although it increased annual energy provisioning by 33%, decreased annual phosphorous loading to surface water by 29%, increased below-ground carbon sequestration by 30%, decreased annual nitrous oxide emissions by 84%, increased an index of pollinator abundance by an average of 11%, and increased an index of biocontrol potential by an average of 6%. We expressed the tradeoffs between income provisioning and other ecosystem services as benefit-cost ratios. Benefit-cost ratios averaged 12.06 GJ of additional net energy, 0.84 kg of avoided phosphorus pollution, 18.97 Mg of sequestered carbon, and 1.99 kg of avoided nitrous oxide emissions for every $1,000 reduction in income. These ratios varied spatially, from 2- to 70-fold depending on the ecosystem service. Benefit-cost ratios for different ecosystem services were generally correlated within watersheds, suggesting the presence of hotspots--watersheds where increases in multiple ecosystem services would come at lower-than-average opportunity costs. When assessing the monetary value of ecosystem services relative to existing conservation programs and environmental markets, the overall value of enhanced services associated with adoption of perennial energy crops was far lower than the opportunity cost. However, when we monitized services using estimates for the social costs of pollution, the value of enhanced services far exceeded the opportunity cost. This

  11. Effects of dairy manure management in annual and perennial cropping systems on soil microbial communities associated with in situ N2O fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunfield, Kari; Thompson, Karen; Bent, Elizabeth; Abalos, Diego; Wagner-Riddle, Claudia

    2016-04-01

    Liquid dairy manure (LDM) application and ploughing events may affect soil microbial community functioning differently between perennial and annual cropping systems due to plant-specific characteristics stimulating changes in microbial community structure. Understanding how these microbial communities change in response to varied management, and how these changes relate to in situ N2O fluxes may allow the creation of predictive models for use in the development of best management practices (BMPs) to decrease nitrogen (N) losses through choice of crop, plough, and LDM practices. Our objectives were to contrast changes in the population sizes and community structures of genes associated with nitrifier (amoA, crenamoA) and denitrifier (nirK, nirS, nosZ) communities in differently managed annual and perennial fields demonstrating variation in N2O flux, and to determine if differences in these microbial communities were linked to the observed variation in N2O fluxes. Soil was sampled in 2012 and in 2014 in a 4-ha spring-applied LDM grass-legume (perennial) plot and two 4-ha corn (annual) treatments under fall or spring LDM application. Soil DNA was extracted and used to target N-cycling genes via qPCR (n=6) and for next-generation sequencing (Illumina Miseq) (n=3). Significantly higher field-scale N2O fluxes were observed in the annual plots compared to the perennial system; however N2O fluxes increased after plough down of the perennial plot. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) indicated differences in N-cycling communities between annual and perennial cropping systems, and some communities became similar between annual and perennial plots after ploughing. Shifts in these communities demonstrated relationships with agricultural management, which were associated with differences in N2O flux. Indicator species analysis was used to identify operational taxonomic units (OTUs) most responsible for community shifts related to management. Nitrifying and denitrifying soil

  12. Modeling plant interspecific interactions from experiments with perennial crop mixtures to predict optimal combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halty, Virginia; Valdés, Matías; Tejera, Mauricio; Picasso, Valentín; Fort, Hugo

    2017-12-01

    The contribution of plant species richness to productivity and ecosystem functioning is a longstanding issue in ecology, with relevant implications for both conservation and agriculture. Both experiments and quantitative modeling are fundamental to the design of sustainable agroecosystems and the optimization of crop production. We modeled communities of perennial crop mixtures by using a generalized Lotka-Volterra model, i.e., a model such that the interspecific interactions are more general than purely competitive. We estimated model parameters -carrying capacities and interaction coefficients- from, respectively, the observed biomass of monocultures and bicultures measured in a large diversity experiment of seven perennial forage species in Iowa, United States. The sign and absolute value of the interaction coefficients showed that the biological interactions between species pairs included amensalism, competition, and parasitism (asymmetric positive-negative interaction), with various degrees of intensity. We tested the model fit by simulating the combinations of more than two species and comparing them with the polycultures experimental data. Overall, theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments. Using this model, we also simulated species combinations that were not sown. From all possible mixtures (sown and not sown) we identified which are the most productive species combinations. Our results demonstrate that a combination of experiments and modeling can contribute to the design of sustainable agricultural systems in general and to the optimization of crop production in particular. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Carbon Sequestration by Perennial Energy Crops: Is the Jury Still Out?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, Francesco; Gregory, Andrew S; Richter, Goetz M

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) changes associated with land conversion to energy crops are central to the debate on bioenergy and their potential carbon neutrality. Here, the experimental evidence on SOC under perennial energy crops (PECs) is synthesised to parameterise a whole systems model and to identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps determining PECs being a sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG). For Miscanthus and willow ( Salix spp.) and their analogues (switchgrass, poplar), we examine carbon (C) allocation to above- and belowground residue inputs, turnover rates and retention in the soil. A meta-analysis showed that studies on dry matter partitioning and C inputs to soils are plentiful, whilst data on turnover are rare and rely on few isotopic C tracer studies. Comprehensive studies on SOC dynamics and GHG emissions under PECs are limited and subsoil processes and C losses through leaching remain unknown. Data showed dynamic changes of gross C inputs and SOC stocks depending on stand age. C inputs and turnover can now be specifically parameterised in whole PEC system models, whilst dependencies on soil texture, moisture and temperature remain empirical. In conclusion, the annual net SOC storage change exceeds the minimum mitigation requirement (0.25 Mg C ha -1 year -1 ) under herbaceous and woody perennials by far (1.14 to 1.88 and 0.63 to 0.72 Mg C ha -1 year -1 , respectively). However, long-term time series of field data are needed to verify sustainable SOC enrichment, as the physical and chemical stabilities of SOC pools remain uncertain, although they are essential in defining the sustainability of C sequestration (half-life >25 years).

  14. Strip cropping of alternating perennial grass–clover and annual rye–vetch intercrops when grown within an organic farming system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Johansen, A.; Carter, Mette Sustmann

    2012-01-01

    interactions. Less soil water content below the perennial strip indicated greater water uptake, than below the annual strips. Unfortunately, the present strip cropping system did not possess the right balance of co-existence and complementarity. However, from a practical point of view the system was manageable...

  15. Energy-conserving perennial agriculture for marginal land in southern Appalachia. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, G.

    1982-01-30

    USDA economists predict the end of surplus farm production in the US within this decade. More and more marginal land will be cropped to provide feed for the growing world population and to produce energy. Much of this potential cropland in Southern Appalachia is poorly suited to annual crops, such as corn. Perennial crops are much better suited to steep, rocky, and wet sites. Research was undertaken on the theoretical potentials of perennial species with high predicted yields of protein, carbohydrates, or oils. Several candidate staple perennial crops for marginal land in Southern Appalachia were identified, and estimates were made of their yields, energy input requirements, and general suitabilities. Cropping systems incorporating honeylocust, persimmon, mulberry, jujube, and beech were compared with corn cropping systems. It appears that these candidate staple perennials show distinct advantages for energy conservation and environmental preservation. Detailed economic analyses must await actual demonstration trials, but preliminary indications for ethanol conversion systems with honeylocust are encouraging. It is suggested that short-term loans to farmers undertaking this new type of agriculture would be appropriate to solve cash-flow problems.

  16. Perennial wheat lines have highly admixed population structure and elevated rates of outcrossing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial wheat has been proposed to alleviate long standing issues with soil erosion in annual cropping systems, while supporting rural communities and providing grain farmers with a marketable climate-resilient crop. The Washington State University perennial wheat breeding program has created sev...

  17. Life cycle analysis of multi-crop lignocellulosic material (perennial grasses) for bioethanol production in western Canada : a review.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tripathy, A. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Bioproducts and Bioprocessing; Panigrahi, S. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering; Mupondwa, E.K. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Bioproducts and Bioprocessing

    2009-07-01

    This paper presented a life cycle assessment of multi-crop lignocellulosic biomass to determine the environmental performance of a bioethanol biorefinery in western Canada. The study investigated the economic aspects of the ethanol fuel system such as biorefinery operating costs and possible improvements in biorefinery economics resulting from pretreatment, hydrolysis, and fermentation processes. The eco-efficiency was determined by comparing economic parameters with selected environmental parameters. The study also compared the efficiency of the lignoce lulosic biorefinery with grain-based dry milling ethanol plants that produce ethanol as well as dried grains and solubles used as animal feed. The study showed that the choice of feedstock and location of the biorefinery is very important. The location should be carefully chosen where there is no water shortage. Various low valued lignocellulosic energy crops such as switch grass, alfalfa, and other perennial grasses can grow in marginal or pasture land and can decrease production costs considerably, thus improving the economic viability of biorefineries. The use of co-products can also add value to the process and can decrease the cost of ethanol production. tabs., figs.

  18. Soil carbon under perennial pastures; benchmarking the influence of pasture age and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, Susan E.; Spoljaric, Nancy; Kelly, Georgina

    2015-07-01

    This paper reports baseline soil carbon stocks from a field survey of 19 sites; 8 pairs/triplet in the Monaro region of New South Wales. Site comparisons were selected by the Monaro Farming Systems group to demonstrate the influence of land management on soil carbon, and included: nutrient management, liming, pasture age and cropping history. Soil carbon stocks varied with parent material and with land management. The fertilised (phosphorus) native perennial pasture had a greater stock of soil carbon compared with the unfertilised site; 46.8 vs 40.4 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. However, the introduced perennial pasture which had been limed had a lower stock of soil carbon compared with the unlimed site; 62.8 vs 66.7 Mg.C.ha to 0.50 m. There was a greater stock of soil carbon under two of the three younger (35 yr old) pastures. Cropped sites did not have lower soil carbon stocks at all sites; however, this survey was conducted after three years of above average annual rainfall and most sites had been cropped for less than three years. At all sites more than 20% of the total carbon stock to 0.50 m was in the 0.30 to 0.50 m soil layer highlighting the importance of considering this soil layer when investigating the implications of land management on soil carbon. Our baseline data indicates that nutrient management may increase soil carbon under perennial pastures and highlights the importance of perennial pastures for soil carbon sequestration regardless of age.

  19. Bioestadística en cultivos Perennes Biostatistics in Perennial crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez B. Ricardo

    1989-12-01

    varios períodos de tiempo sobre las mismas plantas. El análisis estadístico debe tener en cuenta esto y por lo tanto se sugieren algunos métodos de trabajo.Perennial crops live longer than annual crops, and since they are likely to be larger, experiments with them face special problems. The experiments often taken several years, so the plants are at risk longer, increasing the likelihood of mishap and thus unbalanced data, so greater caution is needed in making plants about them. The experimental design must be able to tolerate the inevitable missing data. Whatever design is used, it must be throughly practicable, for it is no use producing a scheme on paper that will give endless trouble in the field. Experimental objetives may change over time, requiring modification of the original study plan. It is better simple experimental design than complex ones, these are inflexible and are seriously undermined by missing data in both computation and interpretation. Since perennials are in general larger than annuals are of greater interest as individuals, and will probably use single.plant or several
    plant plots, and environmental variation in rarely of sole importance. With perennials the experimenter should not assume de error variation as positional, Le envirenmental,
    some of it may well derive from the plants themselves.
    Attempting to reduce error variance by merely increasing replicationwithin a standar design may not be satisfactory, The analysis of covariance has proven to be very effective
    alternative in many cases, after reducing de error variance by 25.50%. The data will probably include several observations collected over time on the same plant. The statistical analysis must take this into account, and several possible methods
    are suggested.

  20. Environmental impact of converting Conservation Reserve Program land to perennial bioenergy crops in Illinois.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Khanna, M.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2017-12-01

    Reducing dependence on fossil fuels by the 20% by 2022 mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act would require 35 billion Ga of ethanol and the loss of 9 to 12 Mha of food producing land to biofuel production, challenging our ability to develop a sustainable bioenergy source while meeting the food demands of a growing population. There are currently 8.5 Mha of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a US government funded program to incentivize the retirement of environmentally sensitive cropland out of conventional crop production. About 63% of CRP land area could potentially be converted to energy crops, contributing to biofuel targets without displacing food. With high yields and low fertilization and irrigation requirements, perennial cellulosic crops (e.g. switchgrass and Miscanthus) not only would reduce land requirements by up to 15% compared to prairies or corn-based biofuel, but also serve other conservation goals such as C sequestration in soils, and water and air quality improvement. Here, we use the DayCent biogeochemical model to assess the potential of CRP land conversion to switchgrass or Miscanthus to provide a sustainable source of biofuel, reduce GHG emissions and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the area of Illinois, which at present contributes to 10% of the biofuel production in the US. Model simulations indicate that the replacement of traditional corn-soy rotation with CRP reduces GHG emissions by 3.3 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 and increases SOC storage at a rate of 0.5 Mg C ha-1 y-1. Conversion of CRP land to cellulosic perennials would further reduce GHG emissions by 1.1 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for switchgrass and 6.2 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 y-1 for Miscanthus, and increase C sequestration in soils (1.7 Tg C for switchgrass and 7.7 Tg C for Miscanthus in 30 years). Cellulosic energy crops would increase average annual yields by approximately 5.6 Mg ha-1 for switchgrass and 13.6 Mg ha-1 for Miscanthus, potentially

  1. Annual maize and perennial grass-clover strip cropping for increased resource use efficiency and productivity using organic farming practice as a model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Johansen, Anders; Carter, Mette Sustmann

    2013-01-01

    A cropping system was designed to fulfill the increasing demand for biomass for food and energy without decreasing long term soil fertility. A field experiment was carried out including alternating strips of annual maize (Zea mays L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) – clover (Trifolium...

  2. Fusarium-induced diseases of tropical, perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploetz, Randy C

    2006-06-01

    ABSTRACT The world's oldest ecosystems are found in the tropics. They are diverse, highly evolved, but barely understood. This and subsequent papers describe diseases of tropical, perennial plants that are caused by Fusarium spp. Many of these are economically significant, difficult to manage, and of scientific interest. Some represent coevolved patho-systems (e.g., Panama disease, tracheomycosis of coffee, fusariosis of pineapple, and Fusarium wilt of oil palm), whereas others may be new-encounter diseases or are caused by generalist pathogens (cushion gall of cacao). New vector relationships are evident in other pathosystems (e.g., mango malformation), and two or more pathogens have been shown to cause some of the diseases (Panama disease and tracheomycosis of coffee). More work on these pathosystems is warranted as they could reveal much about the evolution of plant pathogens and the important diseases they cause.

  3. Development of Perennial Grain Sorghum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stan Cox

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Perennial germplasm derived from crosses between Sorghum bicolor and either S. halepense or S. propinquum is being developed with the goal of preventing and reversing soil degradation in the world’s grain sorghum-growing regions. Perennial grain sorghum plants produce subterranean stems known as rhizomes that sprout to form the next season’s crop. In Kansas, breeding perennial sorghum involves crossing S. bicolor cultivars or breeding lines to S. halepense or perennial S. bicolorn × S. halepense breeding lines, selecting perennial plants from F2 or subsequent populations, crossing those plants with S. bicolor, and repeating the cycle. A retrospective field trial in Kansas showed that selection and backcrossing during 2002–2009 had improved grain yields and seed weights of breeding lines. Second-season grain yields of sorghum lines regrowing from rhizomes were similar to yields in the first season. Further selection cycles have been completed since 2009. Many rhizomatous lines that cannot survive winters in Kansas are perennial at subtropical or tropical locations in North America and Africa. Grain yield in Kansas was not correlated with rhizomatousness in either Kansas or Uganda. Genomic regions affecting rhizome growth and development have been mapped, providing new breeding tools. The S. halepense gene pool may harbor many alleles useful for improving sorghum for a broad range of traits in addition to perenniality.

  4. Soil denitrifier community size changes with land use change to perennial bioenergy cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Karen A.; Deen, Bill; Dunfield, Kari E.

    2016-10-01

    Dedicated biomass crops are required for future bioenergy production. However, the effects of large-scale land use change (LUC) from traditional annual crops, such as corn-soybean rotations to the perennial grasses (PGs) switchgrass and miscanthus, on soil microbial community functioning is largely unknown. Specifically, ecologically significant denitrifying communities, which regulate N2O production and consumption in soils, may respond differently to LUC due to differences in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs between crop types and management systems. Our objective was to quantify bacterial denitrifying gene abundances as influenced by corn-soybean crop production compared to PG biomass production. A field trial was established in 2008 at the Elora Research Station in Ontario, Canada (n  =  30), with miscanthus and switchgrass grown alongside corn-soybean rotations at different N rates (0 and 160 kg N ha-1) and biomass harvest dates within PG plots. Soil was collected on four dates from 2011 to 2012 and quantitative PCR was used to enumerate the total bacterial community (16S rRNA) and communities of bacterial denitrifiers by targeting nitrite reductase (nirS) and N2O reductase (nosZ) genes. Miscanthus produced significantly larger yields and supported larger nosZ denitrifying communities than corn-soybean rotations regardless of management, indicating large-scale LUC from corn-soybean to miscanthus may be suitable in variable Ontario climatic conditions and under varied management, while potentially mitigating soil N2O emissions. Harvesting switchgrass in the spring decreased yields in N-fertilized plots, but did not affect gene abundances. Standing miscanthus overwinter resulted in higher 16S rRNA and nirS gene copies than in fall-harvested crops. However, the size of the total (16S rRNA) and denitrifying bacterial communities changed differently over time and in response to LUC, indicating varying controls on these communities.

  5. High quality reference genome of drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.), a potential perennial crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yang; Zeng, Yan; Zhang, Jing; Yang, ChengGuang; Yan, Liang; Wang, XuanJun; Shi, ChongYing; Xie, Jing; Dai, TianYi; Peng, Lei; Zeng Huan, Yu; Xu, AnNi; Huang, YeWei; Zhang, JiaJin; Ma, Xiao; Dong, Yang; Hao, ShuMei; Sheng, Jun

    2015-07-01

    The drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is a perennial crop that has gained popularity in certain developing countries for its high-nutrition content and adaptability to arid and semi-arid environments. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence of M. oleifera. This assembly represents 91.78% of the estimated genome size and contains 19,465 protein-coding genes. Comparative genomic analysis between M. oleifera and related woody plant genomes helps clarify the general evolution of this species, while the identification of several species-specific gene families and positively selected genes in M. oleifera may help identify genes related to M. oleifera's high protein content, fast-growth, heat and stress tolerance. This reference genome greatly extends the basic research on M. oleifera, and may further promote applying genomics to enhanced breeding and improvement of M. oleifera.

  6. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in grassland establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milchunas, Daniel G.; Vandever, Mark W.; Ball, Leonard O.; Hyberg, Skip

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat–fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area

  7. Path and correlation analysis of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) seed yield components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abel, Simon; Gislum, René; Boelt, Birte

    2017-01-01

    Maximum perennial ryegrass seed production potential is substantially greater than harvested yields with harvested yields representing only 20% of calculated potential. Similar to wheat, maize and other agriculturally important crops, seed yield is highly dependent on a number of interacting seed...... yield components. This research was performed to apply and describe path analysis of perennial ryegrass seed yield components in relation to harvested seed yields. Utilising extensive yield components which included subdividing reproductive inflorescences into five size categories, path analysis...... was undertaken assuming a unidirectional causal-admissible relationship between seed yield components and harvested seed yield in six commercial seed production fields. Both spikelets per inflorescence and florets per spikelet had a significant (p seed yield; however, total...

  8. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of transgenic tools for the improvement of plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels, particularly from perennial plants. Traits that are targets for improvement of biofuels crops include he...

  9. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talukder, Shyamal K.; Saha, Malay C.

    2017-01-01

    Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS) are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder. PMID:28798766

  10. Toward Genomics-Based Breeding in C3 Cool-Season Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shyamal K. Talukder

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Most important food and feed crops in the world belong to the C3 grass family. The future of food security is highly reliant on achieving genetic gains of those grasses. Conventional breeding methods have already reached a plateau for improving major crops. Genomics tools and resources have opened an avenue to explore genome-wide variability and make use of the variation for enhancing genetic gains in breeding programs. Major C3 annual cereal breeding programs are well equipped with genomic tools; however, genomic research of C3 cool-season perennial grasses is lagging behind. In this review, we discuss the currently available genomics tools and approaches useful for C3 cool-season perennial grass breeding. Along with a general review, we emphasize the discussion focusing on forage grasses that were considered orphan and have little or no genetic information available. Transcriptome sequencing and genotype-by-sequencing technology for genome-wide marker detection using next-generation sequencing (NGS are very promising as genomics tools. Most C3 cool-season perennial grass members have no prior genetic information; thus NGS technology will enhance collinear study with other C3 model grasses like Brachypodium and rice. Transcriptomics data can be used for identification of functional genes and molecular markers, i.e., polymorphism markers and simple sequence repeats (SSRs. Genome-wide association study with NGS-based markers will facilitate marker identification for marker-assisted selection. With limited genetic information, genomic selection holds great promise to breeders for attaining maximum genetic gain of the cool-season C3 perennial grasses. Application of all these tools can ensure better genetic gains, reduce length of selection cycles, and facilitate cultivar development to meet the future demand for food and fodder.

  11. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    significant effects on food crop production and productivity. ... 2 Department of Economics and Resource management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway ... food markets work well, the problem of imperfect markets does not allow ..... prices at the time of purchase with the remaining balance due at the end of the.

  12. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper: targeted use of genome resources for comparative grass genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F X; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-02-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species.

  13. Comparative performance of annual and perennial energy cropping systems under different management regimes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehmel, Ute Constanze

    2007-07-18

    The theme of this thesis was chosen against the background of the necessary substitution of fossil fuels and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One major solution for these topics may be the energy generation from domestically produced biomass. The overall aim of this thesis was the identification of one or more efficient energy cropping systems for Central Europe. The existence of diverse production environments necessitates further diversification and the identification of several energy crops and the development of energy cropping systems suited to those diverse environments. This thesis starts with an introductory essay (chapter 1), which provides the background for renewable energy production, its features, demands and potentials, and the scientific basis of this thesis. Chapters 2 to 6 consist of five manuscripts to be published in reviewed journals (Papers I, II, IV and V) or in a multi-author book (Paper III). Subsequently, the results from all papers are discussed in a general setting (chapter 7), from which a general conclusion is formulated (chapter 8). The basis of the research formed four field experiments, which were conducted at the experimental sites Ihinger Hof, Oberer Lindenhof and Goldener Acker of the University of Hohenheim, in south-western Germany. Paper I addresses the overall objective of this thesis. Selected cropping systems for this experiment were short rotation willow, miscanthus, switchgrass, energy maize and two different crop rotation systems including winter oilseed rape, winter wheat and winter triticale with either conventional tillage or no-till. The systems were cultivated with three different nitrogen fertilizer applications. An energy balance was calculated to evaluate the biomass and energy yields of the different cropping systems. Results indicate that perennial lignocellulosic crops combine high biomass and net energy yields with low input and potential ecological impacts. Switchgrass, which produced low yields

  14. Linking resilience theory and diffusion of innovations theory to understand the potential for perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan C. Atwell; Lisa A. Schulte; Lynne M. Westphal

    2009-01-01

    In the last 200 yr, more than 80% of the land in the U.S. Corn Belt agro-ecosystem has been converted from natural perennial vegetation to intensive agricultural production of row crops. Despite research showing how re-integration of perennial vegetation, e.g., cover crops, pasture, riparian buffers, and restored wetlands, at strategic landscape positions can bolster...

  15. The Danish energy crop research and development project - main conclusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gylling, Morten

    2003-01-01

    Production of energy crops in Denmark is more or less non-existent in Denmark at the time being. However, the need for biomass on the other side of year 2005 exceeds the existing biomass resources and a substantial amount of energy crops will be necessary in order to fulfil the goals in Energy 21. The targeted share of the use of renewable energy sources by year 2030 is approximately 30%. Energy crops are seen as the most important new resource in order to create a balanced input mix of renewable in the energy system. The energy crops are mainly seen as fuel in small and medium sized CHP plants and in the big power plants. The Danish energy crop project consists of three main parts: a demonstration part, a research and development part, and an overall assessment part. Based on the results from the project the following overall conclusions can be made: Seen from a strictly market and production economic point of view energy crops will not be competitive in a foreseeable future, neither as a production for farmers nor as a fuel at the utility companies; The costs per GJ of energy crops are still higher than a GJ of straw; The cost difference between annual and perennial energy crops are slightly in favour of perennials, however the conditions on the individual farms should govern the choice between annual and perennial energy crops; Energy crops must be seen as part of an overall environmental scheme covering both agriculture and the energy sector; Given the right production scheme energy crops can be grown on environmental sensitive areas and on most ground water protection areas; Adding the potential sustainability benefits like reduced nutrient leakage and reduced CO 2 emissions energy crops seem to be a sensible and sustainable solution; Due to different handling, storage and fuel characteristics an all year delivery scheme of energy crops should include a mix of different energy crops to keep overall cost down. (BA)

  16. Nitrogen research for perennial crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowen, G.D.; Danso, S.K.A.

    1987-01-01

    The article describes the role of trees in restoring and maintaining soil fertility. Cropping systems that include trees can provide the ecological framework within which food, fuelwood, and fibre production can be intergrated. The IAEA has been actively involved in studies on nitrogen-fixing pasture legumes and is ready to embark on similar studies of trees. 1 tab

  17. Combined production of free-range pigs and energy crops – animal behaviour and crop damages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsted, Klaus; Kongsted, Anne Grete; Jørgensen, Uffe

    2012-01-01

    Intensive free-range pig production on open grasslands has disadvantages in that it creates nutrient hotspots and little opportunity for pigs to seek shelter from the sun. Combining a perennial energy crop and pig production might benefit the environment and animal welfare because perennial energy...... crops like willow (Salix sp.) and Miscanthus offer the pigs protection from the sun while reducing nutrient leaching from pig excrements due to their deep rooting system. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how season and stocking density of pigs in a free-range system with zones of willow...

  18. Growth and Metal Accumulation of an Alyssum murale Nickel Hyperaccumulator Ecotype Co-cropped with Alyssum montanum and Perennial Ryegrass in Serpentine Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Leigh Broadhurst

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The genus Alyssum (Brassicaceae contains Ni hyperaccumulators (50, many of which can achieve 30 g kg-1 Ni in dry leaf. Some Alyssum hyperaccumulators are viable candidates for commercial Ni phytoremediation and phytomining technologies. It is not known whether these species secrete organic and/or amino acids into the rhizosphere to solubilize Ni, or can make use of such acids within the soil to facilitate uptake. It has been hypothesized that in fields with mixed plant species, mobilization of metals by phytosiderophores secreted by Graminaceae plants could affect Alyssum Ni, Fe, Cu and Mn uptake.We co-cropped the Ni hyperaccumulator Alyssum murale, non-hyperaccumulator A. montanum and perennial ryegrass in a natural serpentine soil. All treatments had standard inorganic fertilization required for ryegrass growth and one treatment was compost amended. After 4 months A. murale leaves and stems contained 3600 mg kg-1 Ni which did not differ significantly with co-cropping. Overall Ni and Mn concentrations were significantly higher in A. murale than in A. montanum or L. perenne. Copper was not accumulated by either Alyssum species, but L. perenne accumulated up to 10 mg kg-1. A. montanum could not compete with either A. murale or ryegrass, and neither Alyssum species survived in the compost-amended soil. Co-cropping with ryegrass reduced Fe and Mn concentrations in A. murale but not to the extent of either increasing Ni uptake or affecting plant nutrition. The hypothesized Alyssum Ni accumulation in response to phytosiderophores secreted by co-cropped grass did not occur. Our data do not support increased mobilization of Mn by a phytosiderophore mechanism either, but the converse: mobilization of Mn by the Alyssum hyperaccumulator species significantly increased Mn levels in L. perenne. Tilling soil to maximize root penetration, adequate inorganic fertilization and appropriate plant densities are more important for developing efficient

  19. Sustainable commercialization of new crops for the agricultural bioeconomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R. Jordan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..

  20. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper: Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben; Mayer, Klaus F.X.; Lübberstedt, Thomas; Byrne, Stephen; Frei, Ursula; Studer, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous assignment of 3,315 out of 8,876 previously unmapped genes to the respective chromosomes. In total, the GenomeZipper incorporates 4,035 conserved grass gene loci, which were used for the first genome-wide sequence divergence analysis between perennial ryegrass, barley, Brachypodium, rice, and sorghum. The perennial ryegrass GenomeZipper is an ordered, information-rich genome scaffold, facilitating map-based cloning and genome assembly in perennial ryegrass and closely related Poaceae species. It also represents a milestone in describing synteny between perennial ryegrass and fully sequenced model grass genomes, thereby increasing our understanding of genome organization and evolution in the most important temperate forage and turf grass species. PMID:23184232

  1. Using corngrass1 to engineer poplar as a bioenergy crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meilan, Richard; Rubinelli, Peter Marius; Chuck, George

    2016-05-10

    Embodiments of the present invention relate generally to new bioenergy crops and methods of creating new bioenergy crops. For example, genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs) are used to create transgenic crops. In some embodiments, over-expression of miRNA is used to produce transgenic perennials, such as trees, with altered lignin content or composition. In some embodiments, the transgenic perennials are Populus spp. In some embodiments, the miRNA is a member of the miR156 family. In some embodiments, the gene is Zea mays Cg1.

  2. Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, Ilya; Shcherbak, Iurii; Millar, Neville; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Philip

    2016-11-01

    Differences in soil nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes among ecosystems are often difficult to evaluate and predict due to high spatial and temporal variabilities and few direct experimental comparisons. For 20 years, we measured N 2 O fluxes in 11 ecosystems in southwest Michigan USA: four annual grain crops (corn-soybean-wheat rotations) managed with conventional, no-till, reduced input, or biologically based/organic inputs; three perennial crops (alfalfa, poplar, and conifers); and four unmanaged ecosystems of different successional age including mature forest. Average N 2 O emissions were higher from annual grain and N-fixing cropping systems than from nonleguminous perennial cropping systems and were low across unmanaged ecosystems. Among annual cropping systems full-rotation fluxes were indistinguishable from one another but rotation phase mattered. For example, those systems with cover crops and reduced fertilizer N emitted more N 2 O during the corn and soybean phases, but during the wheat phase fluxes were ~40% lower. Likewise, no-till did not differ from conventional tillage over the entire rotation but reduced emissions ~20% in the wheat phase and increased emissions 30-80% in the corn and soybean phases. Greenhouse gas intensity for the annual crops (flux per unit yield) was lowest for soybeans produced under conventional management, while for the 11 other crop × management combinations intensities were similar to one another. Among the fertilized systems, emissions ranged from 0.30 to 1.33 kg N 2 O-N ha -1  yr -1 and were best predicted by IPCC Tier 1 and ΔEF emission factor approaches. Annual cumulative fluxes from perennial systems were best explained by soil NO3- pools (r 2  = 0.72) but not so for annual crops, where management differences overrode simple correlations. Daily soil N 2 O emissions were poorly predicted by any measured variables. Overall, long-term measurements reveal lower fluxes in nonlegume perennial vegetation and, for

  3. Biomass production on marginal lands - catalogue of bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Wibke; Ivanina, Vadym; Hanzhenko, Oleksandr

    2017-04-01

    Marginal lands are the poorest type of land, with various limitations for traditional agriculture. However, they can be used for biomass production for bioenergy based on perennial plants or trees. The main advantage of biomass as an energy source compared to fossil fuels is the positive influence on the global carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere. During combustion of biofuels, less carbon dioxide is emitted than is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. Besides, 20 to 30 times less sulphur oxide and 3 to 4 times less ash is formed as compared with coal. Growing bioenergy crops creates additional workplaces in rural areas. Soil and climatic conditions of most European regions are suitable for growing perennial energy crops that are capable of rapid transforming solar energy into energy-intensive biomass. Selcted plants are not demanding for soil fertility, do not require a significant amount of fertilizers and pesticides and can be cultivated, therefore, also on unproductive lands of Europe. They prevent soil erosion, contribute to the preservation and improvement of agroecosystems and provide low-cost biomass. A catalogue of potential bioenergy plants was developed within the EU H2020 project SEEMLA including woody and perennial crops that are allowed to be grown in the territory of the EU and Ukraine. The catalogue lists high-productive woody and perennial crops that are not demanding to the conditions of growing and can guarantee stable high yields of high-energy-capacity biomass on marginal lands of various categories of marginality. Biomass of perennials plants and trees is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are directly used to produce solid biofuels. Thanks to the well-developed root system of trees and perennial plants, they are better adapted to poor soils and do not require careful maintenance. Therefore, they can be grown on marginal lands. Particular C4 bioenergy crops are well adapted to a lack of moisture and high

  4. Hemp: A more sustainable annual energy crop for climate and energy policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finnan, John; Styles, David

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the fuel-chain greenhouse gas balance and farm economics of hemp grown for bioenergy with two perennial bioenergy crops, Miscanthus and willow, and two more traditional annual bioenergy crops, sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). The GHG burden of hemp cultivation is intermediate between perennial and traditional annual energy crops, but net fuel chain GHG abatement potential of 11 t/CO 2 eq./ha/year in the mid yield estimate is comparable to perennial crops, and 140% and 540% greater than for OSR and sugar beet fuel chains, respectively. Gross margins from hemp were considerably lower than for OSR and sugar beet, but exceeded those from Miscanthus when organic fertilizers were used and in the absence of establishment grants for the latter crop. Extrapolated up to the EU scale, replacing 25% of OSR and sugar beet production with hemp production could increase net GHG abatement by up to 21 Mt CO 2 eq./year. Hemp is a considerably more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops. Integrated into food crop rotations, hemp need not compete with food supplies, and could provide an appealing option to develop more sustainable non-transport bioenergy supply chains. - Highlights: ► The GHG burden of hemp is intermediate between perennial and annual energy crops. ► Replacing 25% of OSR/beet with hemp could increase GHG abatement by 21 Mt/CO 2 eq./year. ► Hemp is a more efficient bioenergy feedstock than the dominant annual energy crops

  5. The impact of the cropping system management on soil erosion and fertility in Northeastern Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jitareanu, G.; Ailincai, C.; Bucur, D.; Raus, L.; Filipov, F.; Cara, M.

    2009-01-01

    The mass of total carbon from Cambic Chernozem in the Moldavian Plain has recorded significant increases at higher than N 1 40 P 1 00 rates, in organo-mineral fertilization and in 4-year crop rotation, which included melioration plants of perennial grasses and legumes. In maize continuous cropping and wheat-maize rotation, very significant values of the carbon content were found only in the organo-mineral fertilization, in 4-year crop rotations + reserve field cultivated with perennial legumes and under N 1 40 P 1 00 fertilization. In comparison with 4-year crop rotations, in wheat-maize rotation with melioration plants (annual and perennial legumes and perennial grasses), the mean carbon content from soil has diminished from 18.6 to 16.4 C, g.Kg - 1 and the content in mobile phosphorus decreased from 51.6 to 36.8 P-Al, mg.kg - 1. The 40 year use of 3 and 4-year crop rotations has determined the increase in total carbon mass and mobile phosphorus from soil by 10% (1.7 C g-kg - 1) and 31%, respectively (11.8 P-Al mg.kg - 1), against maize continuous cropping. (Author) 6 refs.

  6. Multi-farm economic analysis of perennial energy crops in Central Greece, taking into account the CAP reform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis; Schneider, Uwe A.

    2011-01-01

    This study analyses farm level economic impacts of biomass production from perennial crops including Arundo donax L. (arundo), Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) and Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon). Regional biomass supply curves are estimated with a dynamic, multi-farm, mathematical programming model. Micro-economic data for the model are generated from farm surveys covering 52 farms containing a total of 400 parcels, in Central Greece. The study also examines the potential effects of the Common Agricultural Policy reform in 2003 on regional biomass supply. Simulations show that the policy reform toward decoupled subsidies lowers the cost of biomass between 15 and 25 euro per tonne. Switchgrass appears to be the most attractive option, followed by cardoon and miscanthus. Due to high specific machinery cost, arundo is never preferred. Relative to the agricultural policy setting of Agenda 2000, the biomass potential increases more for farms of small economic size and farms with a higher share of cotton. (author)

  7. Multi-farm economic analysis of perennial energy crops in Central Greece, taking into account the CAP reform

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lychnaras, Vassilis [Centre for Planning and Economic Research, 11, Amerikis str., 106 72 Athens (Greece); Schneider, Uwe A. [Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, University of Hamburg, KlimaCampus Hamburg, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg (Germany)

    2011-01-15

    This study analyses farm level economic impacts of biomass production from perennial crops including Arundo donax L. (arundo), Miscanthus x giganteus (miscanthus), Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) and Cynara cardunculus L. (cardoon). Regional biomass supply curves are estimated with a dynamic, multi-farm, mathematical programming model. Micro-economic data for the model are generated from farm surveys covering 52 farms containing a total of 400 parcels, in Central Greece. The study also examines the potential effects of the Common Agricultural Policy reform in 2003 on regional biomass supply. Simulations show that the policy reform toward decoupled subsidies lowers the cost of biomass between 15 and 25 euro per tonne. Switchgrass appears to be the most attractive option, followed by cardoon and miscanthus. Due to high specific machinery cost, arundo is never preferred. Relative to the agricultural policy setting of Agenda 2000, the biomass potential increases more for farms of small economic size and farms with a higher share of cotton. (author)

  8. Exploitation of allelopathy for weed control in annual and perennial cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, A R; Defrank, J; Barnes, J P

    1983-08-01

    A variety of crops, cultivars, and accessions have been evaluated over the past six years for superior capability to suppress weed growth. The most successful of these approaches has been to grow cover crops of rye (Secale cereale), wheat (Triticum aestivum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), or barley (Hordeum vulgare) to a height of 40-50 cm, desiccate the crops by contact herbicides or freezing, and allow their residues to remain on the soil surface. Often, up to 95% control of important agroecosystem weed species was obtained for a 30- to 60-day period following desiccation of the cover crop. The plant residues on the soil surface exhibit numerous physical and chemical attributes that contribute to weed suppression. Physical aspects include shading and reduced soil temperatures which were similarly achieved using poplar (Populus) excelsior as a control mulch. Chemical aspects apparently include direct release of toxins, as well as production of phytotoxic microbial products. Numerous chemicals appear to work in concert or in an additive or synergistic manner to reduce weed germination and growth.

  9. Soil Compressibility under Irrigated Perennial and Annual Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Watanabe

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In irrigated soils, a continuous state of high moisture reduces resistance of the soil to applied external forces, favouring compaction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to compaction of developed calcareous soils in irrigated annual and perennial cropping systems of the Apodi Plateau, located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Four areas of irrigated crops were evaluated: banana after two (B2 and 15 (B15 years cultivation, pasture (P, and a corn and beans succession (MB, as well as the reference areas for soil quality and corresponding natural vegetation (NVB2, NVB15, NVP and NVMB. Samples were collected at layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.20-0.30 m; and for B2 and B15, samples were collected in the row and inter-row spaces. The following properties were determined: degree of compactness (DC, preconsolidation pressure (σp, compression index (Cc, maximum density (ρmax, critical water content (WCcrit, total organic carbon (TOC and carbon of light organic matter (Clom. Mean values were compared by the t-test at 5, 10, 15 and 20 % probability. An increase was seen in DC at a layer of 0.20-0.30 m in MB (p<0.15, showing the deleterious effects of preparing the soil by ploughing and chiselling, together with the cumulative traffic of heavy machinery. The TOC had a greater influence on ρmax than the stocks of Clom. Irrigation caused a reduction in Cc, and there was no effect on σp at field capacity. The planting rows showed different behaviour for Cc, ρmax, and WCcrit,, and in general the physical properties displayed better conditions than the inter-row spaces. Values for σp and Cc showed that agricultural soils display greater load-bearing capacity and are less susceptible to compaction in relation to soils under natural vegetation.

  10. Plant-Herbivore and Plant-Pollinator Interactions of the Developing Perennial Oilseed Crop, Silphium integrifolium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasifka, J R; Mallinger, R E; Hulke, B S; Larson, S R; Van Tassel, D

    2017-12-08

    Sampling in Kansas and North Dakota documented the plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions of the developing perennial oilseed crop, Silphium integrifolium Michx. The larva of the tortricid moth, Eucosma giganteana (Riley), was the most damaging floret- and seed-feeding pest in Kansas, with infested heads producing ≈85% (2015) or ≈45% (2016) fewer seeds than apparently undamaged heads. Necrosis of apical meristems caused stunting and delayed bloom in Kansas; though the source of the necrosis is not known, observations of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois; Hemiptera: Miridae), in S. integrifolium terminals suggest a possible cause. In North Dakota, E. giganteana larvae were not found, but pupae of Neotephritis finalis (Loew; Diptera: Tephritidae), a minor pest of cultivated sunflower, were common in the heads of S. integrifolium. Bees appeared highly attracted to S. integrifolium, and in all but one observation, bees were seen actively collecting pollen. The most common bees included large apids (Apis mellifera L., Svastra obliqua [Say], Melissodes spp.) and small-bodied halictids (Lasioglossum [Dialictus] spp.). Controlled pollination experiments demonstrated that S. integrifolium is pollinator dependent, due to both mechanical barriers (imperfect florets and protogyny) and genetic self-incompatibility. Subsequent greenhouse tests and AFLP confirmation of putative self-progeny show that a low (<1%) level of self-pollination is possible. If genetic self-incompatibility is eventually reduced through breeding, mechanical barriers would maintain a reliance on bees to move pollen between male and female florets. Collectively, observations on S. integrifolium show that both herbivore and pollinator management are important to maximize seed production. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  11. PERPHECLIM ACCAF Project - Perennial fruit crops and forest phenology evolution facing climatic changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia de Cortazar-Atauri, Iñaki; Audergon, Jean Marc; Bertuzzi, Patrick; Anger, Christel; Bonhomme, Marc; Chuine, Isabelle; Davi, Hendrik; Delzon, Sylvain; Duchêne, Eric; Legave, Jean Michel; Raynal, Hélène; Pichot, Christian; Van Leeuwen, Cornelis; Perpheclim Team

    2015-04-01

    Phenology is a bio-indicator of climate evolutions. Measurements of phenological stages on perennial species provide actually significant illustrations and assessments of the impact of climate change. Phenology is also one of the main key characteristics of the capacity of adaptation of perennial species, generating questions about their consequences on plant growth and development or on fruit quality. Predicting phenology evolution and adaptative capacities of perennial species need to override three main methodological limitations: 1) existing observations and associated databases are scattered and sometimes incomplete, rendering difficult implementation of multi-site study of genotype-environment interaction analyses; 2) there are not common protocols to observe phenological stages; 3) access to generic phenological models platforms is still very limited. In this context, the PERPHECLIM project, which is funded by the Adapting Agriculture and Forestry to Climate Change Meta-Program (ACCAF) from INRA (French National Institute of Agronomic Research), has the objective to develop the necessary infrastructure at INRA level (observatories, information system, modeling tools) to enable partners to study the phenology of various perennial species (grapevine, fruit trees and forest trees). Currently the PERPHECLIM project involves 27 research units in France. The main activities currently developed are: define protocols and observation forms to observe phenology for various species of interest for the project; organizing observation training; develop generic modeling solutions to simulate phenology (Phenological Modelling Platform and modelling platform solutions); support in building research projects at national and international level; develop environment/genotype observation networks for fruit trees species; develop an information system managing data and documentation concerning phenology. Finally, PERPHECLIM project aims to build strong collaborations with public

  12. The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard C. Hayes

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A network of 21 experiments was established across nine countries on four continents and spanning both hemispheres, to evaluate the relative performance of early generation perennial cereal material derived from wheat, rye, and barley and to inform future breeding strategies. The experimental lines were grown in replicated single rows, and first year production and phenology characteristics as well as yield and persistence for up to three years were monitored. The study showed that the existing experimental material is all relatively short-lived (≤3 years, with environments that are milder in summer and winter generally conferring greater longevity. No pedigree was superior across this diverse network of sites although better performing lines at the higher latitude sites were generally derived from Thinopyrum intermedium. By contrast, at lower latitudes the superior lines were generally derived from Th. ponticum and Th. elongatum parentage. The study observed a poor relationship between year 1 performance and productivity in later years, highlighting the need for perennial cereal material with greater longevity to underpin future experimental evaluation, and the importance for breeding programs to emphasize post-year 1 performance in their selections. Hybrid lines derived from the tetraploid durum wheat generally showed greater longevity than derivatives of hexaploid wheat, highlighting potential for greater use of Triticum turgidum in perennial wheat breeding. We advocate a model in future breeding initiatives that develops perennial cereal genotypes for specific target environments rather than a generic product for one global market. These products may include a diversity of cultivars derived from locally adapted annual and perennial parents. In this scenario the breeding program may have access to only a limited range of adapted perennial grass parents. In other situations, such as at very high latitude environments, perennial crops derived

  13. Predicting seed yield in perennial ryegrass using repeated canopy reflectance measurements and PLSR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gislum, René; Deleuran, Lise Christina; Boelt, Birte

    2009-01-01

    with first year seed crops using three sowing rates and three spring nitrogen (N) application rates. PLSR models were developed for each year and showed correlation coefficients of 0.71, 0.76, and 0.92, respectively. Regression coefficients showed in these experiments that the optimum time for canopy...... reflectance measurements was from approximately 600 cumulative growing degree-days (CGDD) to approximately 900 CGDD. This is the period just before and at heading of the seed crop. Furthermore, regression coefficients showed that information about N and water is important. The results support the development......Repeated canopy reflectance measurements together with partial least-squares regression (PLSR) were used to predict seed yield in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The measurements were performed during the spring and summer growing seasons of 2001 to 2003 in three field experiments...

  14. The impact of the cropping system management on soil erosion and fertility in Northeastern Romania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jitareanu, G.; Ailincai, C.; Bucur, D.; Raus, L.; Filipov, F.; Cara, M.

    2009-07-01

    The mass of total carbon from Cambic Chernozem in the Moldavian Plain has recorded significant increases at higher than N{sub 1}40 P{sub 1}00 rates, in organo-mineral fertilization and in 4-year crop rotation, which included melioration plants of perennial grasses and legumes. In maize continuous cropping and wheat-maize rotation, very significant values of the carbon content were found only in the organo-mineral fertilization, in 4-year crop rotations + reserve field cultivated with perennial legumes and under N{sub 1}40 P{sub 1}00 fertilization. In comparison with 4-year crop rotations, in wheat-maize rotation with melioration plants (annual and perennial legumes and perennial grasses), the mean carbon content from soil has diminished from 18.6 to 16.4 C, g.Kg{sup -}1 and the content in mobile phosphorus decreased from 51.6 to 36.8 P-Al, mg.kg{sup -}1. The 40 year use of 3 and 4-year crop rotations has determined the increase in total carbon mass and mobile phosphorus from soil by 10% (1.7 C g-kg{sup -}1) and 31%, respectively (11.8 P-Al mg.kg{sup -}1), against maize continuous cropping. (Author) 6 refs.

  15. Anaerobic co-digestion of perennials: Methane potential and digestate nitrogen fertilizer value

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muller-Stover, Dorette Sophie; Sun, Guotao; Kroff, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Co-digestion of crop biomass improves the traditional manure-based biogas yield due to an increased content of easily degradable carbon compounds. In this study, the methane potential of three perennials (grass, legumes, and grass+legume) was determined using various amounts together with animal ...

  16. Effect of Puccinia silphii on Yield Components and Leaf Physiology in Silphium integrifolium: Lessons for the Domestication of a Perennial Oilseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kathryn Turner

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available New crops with greater capacity for delivering ecosystem services are needed to increase agricultural sustainability. However, even in these crops, seed yield is usually the main criteria for grain domestication. This focus on yield can cause unintended structural and functional changes. Leaves of selected plants tend to be more vulnerable to infection, which can reduce performance, assimilates, and ultimately yield. Our objectives were to determine the impact of rust (caused by Puccinia silphii on yield and leaf function in selected Silphium integrifolium (Asteraceae plants. We tested the effect of a fungicide treatment on rust severity and yield, compared the rust infection of individuals in a population selected for yield, and related this to chemical changes at the leaf level. We also estimated heritability for rust resistance. We found that productivity indicators (head number and weight, leaf weight and leaf processes (photosynthetic capacity, water use efficiency were reduced when silphium leaves and stems were more heavily infected by P. silphii. Leaf resin content increased when susceptible plants were infected. Fungicide treatments were effective at reducing rust infection severity, but were ineffective at preventing yield losses. We propose that disease resistance should be included early in the selection process of new perennial crops.

  17. Constraints to obtaining consistent annual yields in perennial tree crops. I: Heavy fruit load dominates over vegetative growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Harley M; Samach, Alon

    2013-06-01

    Farmers lack effective methods to achieve and maintain stable production from year to year in many commercial fruit crops. Annual fruit yield within a region often alternates between high and low fruit load and is termed alternate bearing. The underlying cause of alternate bearing is the negative impact of high fruit load on vegetative growth and next year's flowering. In this review, we emphasize common responses of diverse perennials to heavy crop load. We present botanical, ecological and horticultural perspectives on irregular bearing. The later part of this review focuses on understanding how high fruit load dominates over vegetative growth. We discuss sink strengths and putative mobile signals (hormones), perhaps seed-derived. We highlight gaps in current understanding of alternate bearing, and discuss new approaches to better understand fruit load dominance. Assuming the effect of high fruit load may be related to other mechanisms of sink partitioning, other forms of dominance are presented such as apical, first fruit and king fruit dominance. Dominance seems to be enforced, in independent cases through the establishment of a polar auxin transport system from the stronger sink. Once established this somehow perturbs the transport of auxin out of weaker sinks. Possibly, fruit derived auxin may alter the polar auxin transport system of the shoot to inhibit shoot growth. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics for candidate gene prediction in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinozuka Hiroshi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In crop species, QTL analysis is commonly used for identification of factors contributing to variation of agronomically important traits. As an important pasture species, a large number of QTLs have been reported for perennial ryegrass based on analysis of biparental mapping populations. Further characterisation of those QTLs is, however, essential for utilisation in varietal improvement programs. Results A bibliographic survey of perennial ryegrass trait-dissection studies identified a total of 560 QTLs from previously published papers, of which 189, 270 and 101 were classified as morphology-, physiology- and resistance/tolerance-related loci, respectively. The collected dataset permitted a subsequent meta-QTL study and implementation of a cross-species candidate gene identification approach. A meta-QTL analysis based on use of the BioMercator software was performed to identify two consensus regions for pathogen resistance traits. Genes that are candidates for causal polymorphism underpinning perennial ryegrass QTLs were identified through in silico comparative mapping using rice databases, and 7 genes were assigned to the p150/112 reference map. Markers linked to the LpDGL1, LpPh1 and LpPIPK1 genes were located close to plant size, leaf extension time and heading date-related QTLs, respectively, suggesting that these genes may be functionally associated with important agronomic traits in perennial ryegrass. Conclusions Functional markers are valuable for QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics. Enrichment of such genetic markers may permit further detailed characterisation of QTLs. The outcomes of QTL meta-analysis and comparative genomics studies may be useful for accelerated development of novel perennial ryegrass cultivars with desirable traits.

  19. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  20. Developing Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouton, J.; Bransby, D.; Conger, B.; McLaughlin, S.; Ocumpaugh, W.; Parrish, D.; Taliaferro, C.; Vogel, K.; Wullschleger, S.

    1998-11-08

    The utilization of energy crops produced on American farms as a source of renewable fuels is a concept with great relevance to current ecological and economic issues at both national and global scales. Development of a significant national capacity to utilize perennial forage crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum, L.) as biofuels could benefit our agricultural economy by providing an important new source of income for farmers. In addition energy production from perennial cropping systems, which are compatible with conventional fining practices, would help reduce degradation of agricultural soils, lower national dependence on foreign oil supplies, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants to the atmosphere (McLaughlin 1998). Interestingly, on-farm energy production is a very old concept, extending back to 19th century America when both transpofiation and work on the farm were powered by approximately 27 million draft animals and fueled by 34 million hectares of grasslands (Vogel 1996). Today a new form of energy production is envisioned for some of this same acreage. The method of energy production is exactly the same - solar energy captured in photosynthesis, but the subsequent modes of energy conversion are vastly different, leading to the production of electricity, transportation fuels, and chemicals from the renewable feedstocks. While energy prices in the United States are among the cheapest in the world, the issues of high dependency on imported oil, the uncertainties of maintaining stable supplies of imported oil from finite reserves, and the environmental costs associated with mining, processing, and combusting fossil fuels have been important drivers in the search for cleaner burning fuels that can be produced and renewed from the landscape. At present biomass and bioenergy combine provide only about 4% of the total primary energy used in the U.S. (Overend 1997). By contrast, imported oil accounts for approximately 44% of the

  1. Biomass supply from alternative cellulosic crops and crop residues: A spatially explicit bioeconomic modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso; Swinton, Scott M.; Izaurralde, César R.; Manowitz, David H.; Zhang, Xuesong

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a spatially-explicit bioeconomic model for the study of potential cellulosic biomass supply. For biomass crops to begin to replace current crops, farmers must earn more from them than from current crops. Using weather, topographic and soil data, the terrestrial ecosystem model, EPIC, dynamically simulates multiple cropping systems that vary by crop rotation, tillage, fertilization and residue removal rate. EPIC generates predicted crop yield and environmental outcomes over multiple watersheds. These EPIC results are used to parameterize a regional profit-maximization mathematical programming model that identifies profitable cropping system choices. The bioeconomic model is calibrated to 2007–09 crop production in a 9-county region of southwest Michigan. A simulation of biomass supply in response to rising biomass prices shows that cellulosic residues from corn stover and wheat straw begin to be supplied at minimum delivered biomass:corn grain price ratios of 0.15 and 0.18, respectively. At the mean corn price of $162.6/Mg ($4.13 per bushel) at commercial moisture content during 2007–2009, these ratios correspond to stover and straw prices of $24 and $29 per dry Mg. Perennial bioenergy crops begin to be supplied at price levels 2–3 times higher. Average biomass transport costs to the biorefinery plant range from $6 to $20/Mg compared to conventional crop production practices in the area, biomass supply from annual crop residues increased greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water quality through increased nutrient loss. By contrast, perennial cellulosic biomass crop production reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved water quality. -- Highlights: ► A new bioeconomic model predicts biomass supply and its environmental impacts. ► The model captures the opportunity cost of switching to new cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from crop residues is supplied at lower biomass price than cellulosic crops. ► Biomass from cellulosic crops has

  2. Cultivo de milho no sistema de aléias com leguminosas perenes Maize crop in alley cropping system with perennials legumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano Rodrigues Queiroz

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Objetivou-se avaliar a influência de algumas leguminosas perenes no teor foliar de N, P e K e na produtividade da cultura do milho (UENF 506-8, cultivado no sistema de aléias, sem adubação fosfatada. Foram realizados experimentos de campo por dois ciclos de cultivo, no Campo Experimental do CCTA/UENF, em Campos dos Goytacazes - RJ. Os tratamentos consistiram no sistema de aléias com Albizia lebbeck (L. Benth., Peltophorum dubium (Spreng. Taub., Leucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit., Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp., Sesbania virgata (Cav. Pers., Mimosa caesalpiniaefolia Benth., Gliricidia sepium (Jacq. Pers. e duas testemunhas com milho solteiro (com e sem NPK. Após oito meses de plantio das leguminosas, essas foram podadas, o material foi incorporado ao solo e em seguida semeado o milho nas entrelinhas, com espaçamento de 80 cm entre fileiras. Após 60 dias da semeadura do milho efetuou-se nova poda. No segundo ciclo de cultivo, as práticas culturais foram similares às do primeiro. Foi utilizado o delineamento em blocos casualizados com quatro repetições. Nas aléias de guandu, observou-se milho com maior teor foliar de N, em relação às demais leguminosas, no primeiro ciclo de cultivo. No segundo ciclo, os consórcios milho+guandu, milho+gliricídia e milho solteiro adubado superaram os demais na produtividade de grãos.The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of perennials legumes, in N, P and K foliar concentration and maize productivity in alley cropping system, without phosphorus fertilization. Field experiments were carried out for two cycles, with legumes intercropping maize (UENF 506-8 in Field Research CCTA/UENF in Campos dos Goytacazes - RJ - Brazil. The treatments consisted of alley cropping system with the species: Albizia lebbeck (L. Benth., Peltophorum dubium (Spreng. Taub., Leucaena leucocephala (Lam. de Wit., Cajanus cajan (L. Millsp., Sesbania virgata (Cav. Pers., Mimosa caesalpiniaefolia Benth., Gliricidia

  3. Genomic selection prediction accuracy in a perennial crop: case study of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cros, David; Denis, Marie; Sánchez, Leopoldo; Cochard, Benoit; Flori, Albert; Durand-Gasselin, Tristan; Nouy, Bruno; Omoré, Alphonse; Pomiès, Virginie; Riou, Virginie; Suryana, Edyana; Bouvet, Jean-Marc

    2015-03-01

    Genomic selection empirically appeared valuable for reciprocal recurrent selection in oil palm as it could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms, despite small populations and low marker density. Genomic selection (GS) can increase the genetic gain in plants. In perennial crops, this is expected mainly through shortened breeding cycles and increased selection intensity, which requires sufficient GS accuracy in selection candidates, despite often small training populations. Our objective was to obtain the first empirical estimate of GS accuracy in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), the major world oil crop. We used two parental populations involved in conventional reciprocal recurrent selection (Deli and Group B) with 131 individuals each, genotyped with 265 SSR. We estimated within-population GS accuracies when predicting breeding values of non-progeny-tested individuals for eight yield traits. We used three methods to sample training sets and five statistical methods to estimate genomic breeding values. The results showed that GS could account for family effects and Mendelian sampling terms in Group B but only for family effects in Deli. Presumably, this difference between populations originated from their contrasting breeding history. The GS accuracy ranged from -0.41 to 0.94 and was positively correlated with the relationship between training and test sets. Training sets optimized with the so-called CDmean criterion gave the highest accuracies, ranging from 0.49 (pulp to fruit ratio in Group B) to 0.94 (fruit weight in Group B). The statistical methods did not affect the accuracy. Finally, Group B could be preselected for progeny tests by applying GS to key yield traits, therefore increasing the selection intensity. Our results should be valuable for breeding programs with small populations, long breeding cycles, or reduced effective size.

  4. Landscape control of nitrous oxide emissions during the transition from conservation reserve program to perennial grasses for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debasish Saha; Benjamin M. Rau; Jason P. Kaye; Felipe Montes; Paul R. Adler; Armen R. Kemanian

    2016-01-01

    Future liquid fuel demand from renewable sources may, in part, be met by converting the seasonally wet portions of the landscape currently managed for soil and water conservation to perennial energy crops. However, this shift may increase nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, thus limiting the carbon (C) benefits of energy crops. Particularly high emissions may occur during...

  5. Biomass productivity and radiation utilisation of innovative cropping systems for biorefinery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manevski, Kiril; Lærke, Poul Erik; Jiao, Xiurong

    2017-01-01

    rotation of annual crops (maize, beet, hemp/oat, triticale, winter rye and winter rapeseed), ii) perennial crops intensively fertilised (festulolium, reed canary, cocksfoot and tall fescue), low-fertilised (miscanthus) or unfertilised (grass-legume mixtures) and iii) traditional systems (continuous...

  6. The Perennial Ryegrass GenomeZipper – Targeted Use of Genome Resources for Comparative Grass Genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfeiffer, Matthias; Martis, Mihaela; Asp, Torben

    2013-01-01

    (Lolium perenne) genome on the basis of conserved synteny to barley (Hordeum vulgare) and the model grass genome Brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon) as well as rice (Oryza sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). A transcriptome-based genetic linkage map of perennial ryegrass served as a scaffold......Whole-genome sequences established for model and major crop species constitute a key resource for advanced genomic research. For outbreeding forage and turf grass species like ryegrasses (Lolium spp.), such resources have yet to be developed. Here, we present a model of the perennial ryegrass...... to establish the chromosomal arrangement of syntenic genes from model grass species. This scaffold revealed a high degree of synteny and macrocollinearity and was then utilized to anchor a collection of perennial ryegrass genes in silico to their predicted genome positions. This resulted in the unambiguous...

  7. Enhanced Yields in Organic Arable Crop Production by Eco-Functional Intensification using Intercropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Erik Steen; Bedoussac, Laurent; Carlsson, Georg

    2015-01-01

    for enhancing yields in OA. EFI involves activating more knowledge and intensifying the beneficial effects of ecosystem functions, including agrobiodiversity (planned and associated) and soil fertility, and refocusing the importance of ecosystems services in agriculture. Organic farmers manage agrobiodiversity...... in space by intercropping, fitted into the organic crop rotation, has a strong potential to increase yield and hereby reduce the global environmental effects performance such as GHG per kg organic grain. Finally, we discuss likely barriers for increased use of intercropping in organic farming and suggest...... by planned crop diversification in time (crop rotation). However, cultivating genetically identical plants in OA sole crops (SC), limits resource use efficiency and yield per unit area. Intercropping (IC) of annual species or cultivars, perennial polycultures of forage or grain crops and agroforestry...

  8. Validation of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies of gene expression in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thrush Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. is an important pasture and turf crop. Biotechniques such as gene expression studies are being employed to improve traits in this temperate grass. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR is among the best methods available for determining changes in gene expression. Before analysis of target gene expression, it is essential to select an appropriate normalisation strategy to control for non-specific variation between samples. Reference genes that have stable expression at different biological and physiological states can be effectively used for normalisation; however, their expression stability must be validated before use. Results Existing Serial Analysis of Gene Expression data were queried to identify six moderately expressed genes that had relatively stable gene expression throughout the year. These six candidate reference genes (eukaryotic elongation factor 1 alpha, eEF1A; TAT-binding protein homolog 1, TBP-1; eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 alpha, eIF4A; YT521-B-like protein family protein, YT521-B; histone 3, H3; ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E2 were validated for qRT-PCR normalisation in 442 diverse perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. samples sourced from field- and laboratory-grown plants under a wide range of experimental conditions. Eukaryotic EF1A is encoded by members of a multigene family exhibiting differential expression and necessitated the expression analysis of different eEF1A encoding genes; a highly expressed eEF1A (h, a moderately, but stably expressed eEF1A (s, and combined expression of multigene eEF1A (m. NormFinder identified eEF1A (s and YT521-B as the best combination of two genes for normalisation of gene expression data in perennial ryegrass following different defoliation management in the field. Conclusions This study is unique in the magnitude of samples tested with the inclusion of numerous field-grown samples

  9. Nitrogen cycling in summer active perennial grass systems in South Australia: Non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gupta, V.V.S.R.; Kroker, S.J.; Hicks, M.; Davoren, W.; Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Llewellyn, R.

    2014-01-01

    Non-symbiotic nitrogen (N2) fixation by diazotrophic bacteria is a potential source for biological N inputs in non-leguminous crops and pastures. Perennial grasses generally add larger quantities of above- and belowground plant residues to soil, and so can support higher levels of soil biological

  10. The genome and transcriptome of perennial ryegrass mitochondria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Islam, Md. Shofiqul; Studer, Bruno; Byrne, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Background: Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is one of the most important forage and turf grass species of temperate regions worldwide. Its mitochondrial genome is inherited maternally and contains genes that can influence traits of agricultural importance. Moreover, the DNA sequence...... and annotation of the complete mitochondrial genome from perennial ryegrass. Results: Intact mitochondria from perennial ryegrass leaves were isolated and used for mtDNA extraction. The mitochondrial genome was sequenced to a 167-fold coverage using the Roche 454 GS-FLX Titanium platform, and assembled...... of mitochondrial genomes has been established and compared for a large number of species in order to characterize evolutionary relationships.Therefore, it is crucial to understand the organization of the mitochondrial genome and how it varies between and within species. Here, we report the first de novo assembly...

  11. Genetic variation, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium in European elite germplasm of perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brazauskas, Gintaras; Lenk, Ingo; Pedersen, Morten Greve

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a highly valued temperate climate grass species grown as forage crop and for amenity uses. Due to its outbreeding nature and recent domestication, a high degree of genetic diversity is expected among cultivars. The aim of this study was to assess the extent...... of linkage disequilibrium (LD) within European elite germplasm and to evaluate the appropriate methodology for genetic association mapping in perennial ryegrass. A high level of genetic diversity was observed in a set of 380 perennial ryegrass elite genotypes when genotyped with 40 SSRs and 2 STS markers...... and occurred within 0.4 cM across European varieties, when population structure was taken into consideration. However, an extended LD of up to 6.6 cM was detected within the variety Aberdart. High genetic diversity and rapid LD decay provide means for high resolution association mapping in elite materials...

  12. Effect of harvest timing on leaf production and yield of diterpene glycosides in Stevia rebaudiana Bert: a specialty perennial crop for Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevia rebaundiana (Bertoni), a perennial shrub of the Asteraceae, is one of the most important sources of non-caloric natural sweeteners. Stevia’s plant extracts and glycosides have been used for several years in Paraguay and Brazil. Several studies suggest that Stevia and its glycosides exert ben...

  13. Perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that can reduce post-harvest proteolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Michael L; Foster, Jamie L

    2013-08-15

    Studies of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) suggest its hay and haylage have greater levels of rumen undegraded protein (RUP) than other legume forages such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Greater RUP can result in more efficient nitrogen utilization by ruminant animals with positive economic and environmental effects. We sought to determine whether, like red clover (Trifolium pretense L.), perennial peanut contains polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and PPO substrates that might be responsible for increased RUP. Perennial peanut extracts contain immunologically detectible PPO protein and high levels of PPO activity (>100 nkatal mg(-1) protein). Addition of caffeic acid (PPO substrate) to perennial peanut extracts depleted of endogenous substrates reduced proteolysis by 90%. Addition of phenolics prepared from perennial peanut leaves to extracts of either transgenic PPO-expressing or control (non-expressing) alfalfa showed peanut phenolics could reduce proteolysis >70% in a PPO-dependent manner. Two abundant likely PPO substrates are present in perennial peanut leaves including caftaric acid. Perennial peanut contains PPO and PPO substrates that together are capable of inhibiting post-harvest proteolysis, suggesting a possible mechanism for increased RUP in this forage. Research related to optimizing the PPO system in other forage crops will likely be applicable to perennial peanut. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  14. Modelling the carbon and nitrogen balances of direct land use changes from energy crops in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamelin, Lorie; Jørgensen, Uffe; Petersen, Bjørn Molt

    2012-01-01

    This paper addresses the conversion of Danish agricultural land from food/feed crops to energy crops. To this end, a life cycle inventory, which relates the input and output flows from and to the environment of 528 different crop systems, is built and described. This includes seven crops (annuals...... and perennials), two soil types (sandy loam and sand), two climate types (wet and dry), three initial soil carbon level (high, average, low), two time horizons for soil carbon changes (20 and 100 years), two residues management practices (removal and incorporation into soil) as well as three soil carbon turnover...... rate reductions in response to the absence of tillage for some perennial crops (0%, 25%, 50%). For all crop systems, nutrient balances, balances between above- and below-ground residues, soil carbon changes, biogenic carbon dioxide flows, emissions of nitrogen compounds and losses of macro...

  15. The current breeding programme on industrial crops in Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamid, Auzay; Abdullah, N.

    1982-01-01

    There are two main constraints why breeding programme of most industrial crops can not be carried out smoothly. Firstly, most of the industrial crops belong to a perennial group with a relatively long life circle. Secondly, a greater part of them have a very limited genetic diversities in the nature. The low yield capacity per hectare of some crops are mainly due to certain diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes, besides several kinds of pests. Efforts have been done to overcome these problems, particularly through improvements of cultural practices, as well as plant breeding, however, major parts of those problems are not solved yet. This paper reviews several problems of industrial crops of economic importance in connection with several aspects of breeding works done in the past and recently faced by ICRI and farmers. It seems that nuclear techniques as a new means in breeding programmes is badly needed, especially to certain crops with a narrow spectrum of genetic diversities with special reference to seek for plants which are expected to be resistant to major diseases and pests. (author)

  16. Bioenergy production from perennial energy crops: a consequential LCA of 12 bioenergy scenarios including land use changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, Davide; Hamelin, Lorie; Wenzel, Henrik; Astrup, Thomas

    2012-12-18

    In the endeavor of optimizing the sustainability of bioenergy production in Denmark, this consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluated the environmental impacts associated with the production of heat and electricity from one hectare of Danish arable land cultivated with three perennial crops: ryegrass (Lolium perenne), willow (Salix viminalis) and Miscanthus giganteus. For each, four conversion pathways were assessed against a fossil fuel reference: (I) anaerobic co-digestion with manure, (II) gasification, (III) combustion in small-to-medium scale biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants and IV) co-firing in large scale coal-fired CHP plants. Soil carbon changes, direct and indirect land use changes as well as uncertainty analysis (sensitivity, MonteCarlo) were included in the LCA. Results showed that global warming was the bottleneck impact, where only two scenarios, namely willow and Miscanthus co-firing, allowed for an improvement as compared with the reference (-82 and -45 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, respectively). The indirect land use changes impact was quantified as 310 ± 170 t CO₂-eq. ha⁻¹, representing a paramount average of 41% of the induced greenhouse gas emissions. The uncertainty analysis confirmed the results robustness and highlighted the indirect land use changes uncertainty as the only uncertainty that can significantly change the outcome of the LCA results.

  17. Utilization of sunflower crop wild relatives for cultivated sunflower improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the few crops native to the U.S. The current USDA-ARS-NPGS crop wild relatives sunflower collection is the largest extant collection in the world, containing 2,519 accessions comprised of 53 species; 39 perennial and 14 annual. To fully utilize gene bank co...

  18. Environmental Performance of Miscanthus, Switchgrass and Maize: Can C4 Perennials Increase the Sustainability of Biogas Production?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kiesel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Biogas is considered a promising option for complementing the fluctuating energy supply from other renewable sources. Maize is currently the dominant biogas crop, but its environmental performance is questionable. Through its replacement with high-yielding and nutrient-efficient perennial C4 grasses, the environmental impact of biogas could be considerably improved. The objective of this paper is to assess and compare the environmental performance of the biogas production and utilization of perennial miscanthus and switchgrass and annual maize. An LCA was performed using data from field trials, assessing the impact in the five categories: climate change (CC, fossil fuel depletion (FFD, terrestrial acidification (TA, freshwater eutrophication (FE and marine eutrophication (ME. A system expansion approach was adopted to include a fossil reference. All three crops showed significantly lower CC and FFD potentials than the fossil reference, but higher TA and FE potentials, with nitrogen fertilizer production and fertilizer-induced emissions identified as hot spots. Miscanthus performed best and changing the input substrate from maize to miscanthus led to average reductions of −66% CC; −74% FFD; −63% FE; −60% ME and −21% TA. These results show that perennial C4 grasses and miscanthus in particular have the potential to improve the sustainability of the biogas sector.

  19. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Kleijn, David; Scheper, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Wild andmanaged bees arewell documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change.

  20. Selecting native perennial plants for ecological intensification in Mediterranean greenhouse horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, E; González, M; Paredes, D; Campos, M; Benítez, E

    2017-12-04

    Natural control by predators and parasitoids provides an important and often unnoticed ecosystem service to agricultural landscapes by reducing pest populations in crops. The current model of horticultural intensification in south-eastern Spain produces high yields but has also resulted in a landscape almost completely covered by plastic. Promoting natural areas among greenhouses could enhance biodiversity, by being beneficial insects, and reduce pest pressure outdoors. The first step is to ascertain how pests and their natural enemies (NEs) use Mediterranean vegetation for selecting the best plants for pest suppression outdoors. The abundance of the two major horticultural pests, the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, together with their NEs, were assayed in 22 flowering perennial plants, which were newly planted in an experimental field surrounded by greenhouses. Eight plant species were identified as the most critical species for sustaining pest populations outdoors. A set of five plant species supported a medium level of pests, and another set of ten plant species supported the lowest level of both pests. Tobacco whitefly occurred in a few plants species, whereas western flower thrips occurred on almost all the plant species studied, and was favoured by the presence of flowers in perennial plants. The results suggest that plant diversity may provide relatively few acceptable host plants for tobacco whitefly than for western flower thrips. NEs were generally collected in plants that also supported abundance of pests, indicating that host/prey availability, more than food resources from flowers, was a stronger predictor of NE abundance in perennial plants. Field trials using the plants with the lowest host acceptance by pests are needed in order to ascertain whether pest abundance outdoors is reduced.

  1. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to...

  2. Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelley R Rogers

    Full Text Available Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity. Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

  3. Bee species diversity enhances productivity and stability in a perennial crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Shelley R; Tarpy, David R; Burrack, Hannah J

    2014-01-01

    Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning--and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services-remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping) and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity). Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services.

  4. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M J; Christian, D; Wilkins, C

    1997-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  5. Quantifying biomass production in crops grown for energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.J.; Christian, D.; Wilkins, C.

    1996-12-31

    One estimate suggests that continued CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reform may lead to as much as 2 million hectares of land set aside from arable production by the year 2020 in the UK alone, with 20 million hectares in the EU in total. Set-aside currently occupies more than 500,000 hectares in the UK. Set-aside land is providing more opportunities for non-food crops, for example fuel crops, which provide biomass for energy. Whilst any crop species will produce biomass which can be burnt to produce energy, arable crops were not developed with this in mind but rather a specific harvestable commodity, e.g. grain, and therefore the total harvestable commodity is seldom maximised. The characteristics of an ideal fuel crop have been identified as: dry harvested material for efficient combustion; perennial growth to minimise establishment costs and lengthen the growing season; good disease resistance; efficient conversion of solar radiation to biomass energy; efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser (where required) and water; and yield close to the theoretical maximum. Miscanthus, a genus of Oriental and African C4 perennial grasses, has been identified as possessing the above characteristics. There may be other species, which, if not yielding quite as much biomass, have other characteristics of merit. This has led to the need to identify inherently productive species which are adapted to the UK, and to validate the productivity of species which have already been 'discovered'. (author)

  6. Nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane emissions from irrigated cropping systems as influenced by legumes, manure and fertilizer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ellert, B.H.; Janzen, H.H. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB (Canada)

    2008-04-15

    Irrigated crops in Alberta require higher inputs of nitrogen (N) than rainfed crops. The aim of the study was to determine emissions of nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) from the soils of irrigated cropping systems that used inorganic fertilizer N at a site in Alberta. The study measured carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) levels in order to determine net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The exchange of gases between the atmosphere and soil in selected treatments was measured in order to compare the effects of contrasting N inputs. Fluxes were measured bi-weekly from spring 2001 to spring 2004. The time period included annual and perennial legume crops; the termination of a perennial forage crop; manure application; and 2 growing seasons of test crops. Soil surface fluxes were measured using PVC chambers equipped with thermocouples. Gas samples were measured using gas chromatography. A linear least squares method was used to calculate gas concentrations. Results showed that soil CO{sub 2} and N{sub 2}O production rates were intertwined after legume production or manure application, but decoupled during early spring bursts of N{sub 2}O production. Higher soil CO{sub 2} emissions with alfalfa and manure-amended soils suggested that soil oxygen consumption during high CO{sub 2} emission periods may promote N{sub 2}O emissions. Appreciable proportions of N{sub 2}O were emitted outside the growing season. Results suggested that N{sub 2}O leakage is an inevitable hazard of crop production. The study highlighted the importance of understanding and quantifying N{sub 2}O emissions from intensive cropping systems. 22 refs., 4 tabs., 6 figs.

  7. Impacts of Past Land Use Changes on Water Resources: An Analog for Assessing Effects of Proposed Bioenergy Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Schilling, K.; Young, M.; Duncan, I. J.; Gerbens-Leenes, P.

    2011-12-01

    Interest is increasing in renewable energy sources, including bioenergy. However, potential impacts of bioenergy crops on water resources need to be better understood before large scale expansion occurs. This study evaluates the potential for using past land use change impacts on water resources as an analog for assessing future bioenergy crop effects. Impacts were assessed for two cases and methods: (1) changes from perennial to annual crops in the Midwest U.S. using stream hydrograph separation; and (2) changes from perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops in the Southwest U.S. using unsaturated zone and groundwater data. Results from the Midwest show that expanding the soybean production area by 80,000 km2 increased stream flow by 32%, based on data from Keokuk station in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Using these relationships, further expansion of annual corn production for biofuels by 10 - 50% would increase streamflow by up to 40%, with related increases in nitrate, phosphate, and sediment pollutant transport to the Gulf of Mexico. The changes in water partitioning are attributed to reducing evapotranspiration, increasing recharge and baseflow discharge to streams. Similar results were found in the southwestern US, where changes from native perennial grasses and shrubs to annual crops increased recharge from ~0.0 to 24 mm/yr, raising water tables by up to 7 m in some regions and flushing accumulated salts into underlying aquifers in the southern High Plains. The changes in water partitioning are related to changes in rooting depth from deep rooted native vegetation to shallow rooted crops and growing season length. Further expansion of annual bioenergy crops, such as changes from Conservation Reserve Program to corn in the Midwest, will continue the trajectory of reducing ET, thereby increasing recharge and baseflow to streams and nutrient export. We hypothesize that changing bioenergy crops from annual crops to perennial grasses, such as switchgrass

  8. Determinants of crop diversity and composition in Enset-coffee agroforestry homegardens of Southern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tesfaye Abebe

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Households in much of the tropics depend for their livelihoods on the variety and continued production of food and other products that are provided by their own farms. In such systems, maintenance of agrobiodiversity and ensuring food security are important for the well being of the population. The enset-coffee agroforestry homegardens of Southern Ethiopia that are dominated by two native perennial crops, Coffee (Coffea arabica L. and Enset (Enset ventricosum Welw. Cheesman, are examples of such agricultural systems. This study was conducted in Sidama administrative zone of Southern Ethiopia to determine the factors that influence the diversity and composition of crops in the systems. Data were collected from 144 sample homegardens selected from four districts. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to relate indices of crop diversity and area share of major crops with the physical and socioeconomic factors. The study revealed that socioeconomic factors, mainly proximity to markets, affected negatively crop species richness. The production area of the main crops enset and coffee decreased with increasing proximity to market and road while that of maize and khat increased. At household level, farm size had a significant effect on area share of enset and coffee. As farm size increased the share of the cash crop, coffee increased but that of the staple, enset declined. Enset, which is the backbone of the system in terms of food security, is declining on small farms and the share of monoculture maize system is increasing. The trend towards declining agrobiodiversity, and reduction in the production area of the main perennial crops and their gradual replacement with monoculture fields could make the systems liable to instability and collapse. As these sites are high potential agricultural areas, intensification can be achieved by integrating high-value and more productive crops, such as fruits, spices and vegetables, while maintaining the

  9. Nitrogen accumulation and residual effects of nitrogen catch crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, E.S.

    1991-01-01

    The nitrogen accumulation in Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) and tansy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia L.), under- or aftersown as nitrogen catch crops to spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and field pea (Pisum s...

  10. Grass-clover undersowing affects nitrogen dynamics in a grain legume–cereal arable cropping system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Mundus, Simon; Jensen, Erik Steen

    2012-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out in an arable organic cropping system and included a sequence with sole cropped fababean (Vicia faba L.), lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and pea–oat intercropping with or without an undersown perennial ryegrass...... N2 fixation and 15N labeling technique to determine the fate of pea and oat residue N recovery in the subsequent crop. The subsequent spring wheat and winter triticale crop yields were not significantly affected by the previous main crop, but a significant effect of catch crop undersowing...

  11. Climate protection and energy crops. Potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction through crop rotation and crop planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckner, Jens; Peter, Christiane; Vetter, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The EVA project compares nationwide energy crops and crop rotations on site-specific productivity. In addition to agronomic suitability for cultivation economic and environmental benefits and consequences are analyzed and evaluated. As part of sustainability assessment of the tested cultivation options LCAs are established. The model MiLA developed in the project uses empirical test data and site parameters to prepare the inventory balances. At selected locations different cultivation and fertilization regimes are examined comparatively. In the comparison of individual crops and crop rotation combinations cultivation of W.Triticale-GPS at the cereals favor location Dornburg causes the lowest productrelated GHG-emissions. Due to the efficient implementation of nitrogen and the substrate properties of maize is the cultivation despite high area-related emissions and N-expenses at a low level of emissions. Because of the intensity the two culture systems offer lower emissions savings potentials with high area efficiency. Extensification with perennial alfalfagrass at low nitrogen effort and adequate yield performance show low product-related emissions. Closing the nutrient cycles through a recirculation of digestates instead of using mineral fertilization has a climate-friendly effect. Adapted intensifies of processing or reduced tillage decrease diesel consumption and their related emissions.

  12. Understanding cropping systems in the semi-arid environments of Zimbabwe: options for soil fertility management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ncube, B.

    2007-01-01

    African smallholder farmers face perennial food shortages due to low crop yields. The major cause of poor crop yields is soil fertility decline. The diversity of sites and soils between African farming systems isgreat,therefore strategies to solve soil fertility problems

  13. Biogas Production from Energy Crops and Agriculture Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Guangtao

    and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential......In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according...... of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw...

  14. Energy-, environmental and economic evaluation of energy crops utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    This preliminary project is prepared in order to clarify the economic possibilities and rentability of energy crops. Examples of energy crop resource potential, environmental and economic consequences are calculated on the basis of existing data. Utilization of annual and perennial crops is evaluated with regard to the usual following of agricultural areas, and to the traditional power generation in a coal-fueled plant. Two technological options are discussed: one based on energy crop fuels supplementing the conventional coal fuel, and the other based on a separate biomass-fueled boiler, connected to the conventional coal-fueled unit. Implementation of the main project,following the preliminary one will permit to estimate the future prospects and strategies of energy crop utilization as a profitable energy resource. (EG)

  15. Herbaceous energy crops in humid lower South USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The humid lower South has the long warm growing season and high rainfall conditions needed for producing high-yielding perennial herbaceous grasses and shrubs. Many potential biomass plants were evaluated during a ten-year period. Perennial tall grasses such as elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum), sugarcane and energycane (Saccharum spp.) and the leguminous shrub Leucaena leucocephala were the highest in biomass production. These perennial crops often have top growth killed by winter freezes and regenerate from underground parts. The tall grasses have high yields because of linear crop growth rates of 18 to 27 g m{sup 2} d{sup {minus}1} for long periods (140 to 196 d) each season. Tall grasses must be planted vegetatively, which is more costly than seed propagation, however, once established, they may persist for many seasons. Oven dry biomass yields have varied from 20 to 45 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in colder subtropical to mild temperate locations to over 60 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1} in the lower portion of the Florida peninsular. Highest biomass yields have been produced when irrigated with sewage effluent or when grown on phosphatic clay and muck soils in south Florida. The energy content of 1 Mg of oven dry tall grass and leucaena is equivalent to that of about 112 and 123 gallons of number 2 diesel fuel, respectively.

  16. Transcriptional Profiling and Identification of Heat-Responsive Genes in Perennial Ryegrass by RNA-Sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kehua Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne is one of the most widely used forage and turf grasses in the world due to its desirable agronomic qualities. However, as a cool-season perennial grass species, high temperature is a major factor limiting its performance in warmer and transition regions. In this study, a de novo transcriptome was generated using a cDNA library constructed from perennial ryegrass leaves subjected to short-term heat stress treatment. Then the expression profiling and identification of perennial ryegrass heat response genes by digital gene expression analyses was performed. The goal of this work was to produce expression profiles of high temperature stress responsive genes in perennial ryegrass leaves and further identify the potentially important candidate genes with altered levels of transcript, such as those genes involved in transcriptional regulation, antioxidant responses, plant hormones and signal transduction, and cellular metabolism. The de novo assembly of perennial ryegrass transcriptome in this study obtained more total and annotated unigenes compared to previously published ones. Many DEGs identified were genes that are known to respond to heat stress in plants, including HSFs, HSPs, and antioxidant related genes. In the meanwhile, we also identified four gene candidates mainly involved in C4 carbon fixation, and one TOR gene. Their exact roles in plant heat stress response need to dissect further. This study would be important by providing the gene resources for improving heat stress tolerance in both perennial ryegrass and other cool-season perennial grass plants.

  17. Site-adapted cultivation of bioenergy crops - a strategy towards a greener and innovative feedstock production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruf, Thorsten; Emmerling, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    Cultivation of bioenergy crops is of increasing interest to produce valuable feedstocks e.g. for anaerobic digestion. In the past decade, the focus was primarily set to cultivation of the most economic viable crop, namely maize. In Germany for example, the cultivation area of maize was expanded from approx. 200,000 ha in 2006 to 800,000 ha in 2015. However, this process initiated a scientific and public discussion about the sustainability of intense maize cultivation. Concerns addressed in this context are depletion of soil organic matter, soil erosion and compaction as well as losses of (agro-)biodiversity. However, from a soil science perspective, several problems arise from not site-adapted cultivation of maize. In contrast, the cultivation of perennial bioenergy crops may provide a valuable opportunity to preserve or even enhance soil fertility and agrobiodiversity without limiting economic efficiency. Several perennial energy crops, with various requirements regarding stand conditions, allow a beneficial selection of the most suitable species for a respective location. The study aimed to provide a first step towards a more strategic planning of bioenergy crop cultivation with respect to spatial arrangement, distribution and connectivity of sites on a regional scale. The identification of pedological site characteristics is a crucial step in this process. With the study presented, we tried to derive site information that allow for an assessment of the suitability for specific energy crops. Our idea is to design a multifunctional landscape with a coexistence of sites with reduced management for soil protection and highly productive site. By a site adapted cultivation of perennial energy plants in sensitive areas, a complex, heterogeneous landscape could be reached.

  18. Higher US crop prices trigger little area expansion so marginal land for biofuel crops is limited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swinton, Scott M.; Babcock, Bruce A.; James, Laura K.; Bandaru, Varaprasad

    2011-01-01

    By expanding energy biomass production on marginal lands that are not currently used for crops, food prices increase and indirect climate change effects can be mitigated. Studies of the availability of marginal lands for dedicated bioenergy crops have focused on biophysical land traits, ignoring the human role in decisions to convert marginal land to bioenergy crops. Recent history offers insights about farmer willingness to put non-crop land into crop production. The 2006-09 leap in field crop prices and the attendant 64% gain in typical profitability led to only a 2% increase in crop planted area, mostly in the prairie states. At this rate, a doubling of expected profitability from biomass crops would expand cropland supply by only 3.2%. Yet targets for cellulosic ethanol production in the US Energy Independence and Security Act imply boosting US planted area by 10% or more with perennial biomass crops. Given landowner reluctance to expand crop area with familiar crops in the short run, large scale expansion of the area in dedicated bioenergy crops will likely be difficult and costly to achieve. - Highlights: → Biofuel crops on cropland can displace food crops, reducing food supply and triggering indirect land use. → Growing biofuel crops on non-crop marginal land avoids these problems. → But US farmers expanded cropland by only 2% when crop profitability jumped 64% during 2006-09. → So medium-term availability of marginal lands for biofuel crops is limited and costly.

  19. Perennial ryegrass for dairy cows: effects of cultivar on herbage intake during grazing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, H.J.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords:Perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne , sward morphology, sward cutting, n-alkanes, herbage intake, selection, preference.Perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.) is the most important species for feeding dairy cows. The majority of the farmers in the Netherlands graze their

  20. Barriers to and drivers of the adpotion of energy crops by Swedish farmers: An empirical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jonsson, Anna C.; Ostwald, Madelene; Asplund, Therese; Wibeck, Victoria (Linkoeping Univ., Linkoeping (Sweden). The Tema Inst., Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research)

    2011-06-15

    Since the Swedish government and the EU intend to encourage farmers to expand energy crop production, knowledge of the factors motivating adoption decisions is vital to policy success. Earlier studies have demonstrated that important barriers to farmer adoption of energy crops include converting from annual to perennial crops and from traditional crops or production systems to new ones. Economic motivations for changing production systems are strong, but factors such as values (e.g., aesthetics), knowledge (e.g., habits and knowledge of production methods), and legal conditions (e.g., cultivation licenses) are crucial for the change to energy crops. This paper helps fill gaps in the literature regarding why farmers decide to keep or change a production system. Based on a series of focus group interviews with Swedish farmers, the paper explores how farmers frame crop change decisions and what factors they consider most important. The main drivers of and barriers to growing energy crops, according to interviewees, are grouped and discussed in relation to four broad groups of motivational factors identified in the literature, i.e., values, legal conditions, knowledge, and economic factors. The paper ends by discussing whether some barriers could be overcome by policy changes at the national and European levels

  1. Native prairie filter strips reduce runoff from hillslopes under annual row-crop systems in Iowa, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    V. Hernandez-Santana; X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M. Tomer

    2013-01-01

    Intensively managed annual cropping systems have produced high crop yields but have often produced significant ecosystem services alteration, in particular hydrologic regulation loss. Reconversion of annual agricultural systems to perennial vegetation can lead to hydrologic function restoration, but its effect is still not well understood. Therefore, our objective was...

  2. Genetic Loci Governing Androgenic Capacity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel F. Begheyn

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Immature pollen can be induced to switch developmental pathways from gametogenesis to embryogenesis and subsequently regenerate into homozygous, diploid plants. Such androgenic production of doubled haploids is particularly useful for species where inbreeding is hampered by effective self-incompatibility systems. Therefore, increasing the generally low androgenic capacity of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. germplasm would enable the efficient production of homozygous plant material, so that a more effective exploitation of heterosis through hybrid breeding schemes can be realized. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study in a heterozygous, multiparental population of perennial ryegrass (n = 391 segregating for androgenic capacity. Genotyping-by-sequencing was used to interrogate gene- dense genomic regions and revealed over 1,100 polymorphic sites. Between one and 10 quantitative trait loci (QTL were identified for anther response, embryo and total plant production, green and albino plant production and regeneration. Most traits were under polygenic control, although a major QTL on linkage group 5 was associated with green plant regeneration. Distinct genetic factors seem to affect green and albino plant recovery. Two intriguing candidate genes, encoding chromatin binding domains of the developmental phase transition regulator, Polycomb Repressive Complex 2, were identified. Our results shed the first light on the molecular mechanisms behind perennial ryegrass microspore embryogenesis and enable marker-assisted introgression of androgenic capacity into recalcitrant germplasm of this forage crop of global significance.

  3. The effectiveness of habitat modification schemes for enhancing beneficial insects: Assessing the importance of trap cropping management approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trisnawati, Indah; Azis, Abdul

    2017-06-01

    Many farms in regions of intensive crop production lack the habitats that historically provided resources to beneficial insects, and this lack has compromised the ability of farmers to rely on natural enemies for pest control. One of the strategies to boost populations of existing or naturally occurring beneficial insects is to supply them with appropriate habitat and alternative food sources, such as diversifying trap crop systems and plant populations in or around fields include perennials and flowering plants. Trap cropping using insectary plant that attracts beneficial insects as natural enemies, especially flowering plants, made for provision of habitat for predators or parasitoids that are useful for biological control. Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) is a method of integrated pest management in which the main crop is surrounded with a perimeter trap crop that is more attractive to pests. We observed PTC habitat modification and conventionaly-managed tobacco farms in Purwosari Village, Pasuruan (East Java) to evaluate the effectiveness of habitat modification management prescription (perimeter trap crop using flowering plant Crotalaria juncea) on agroecosystem natural enemies. Field tests were conducted in natural enemies (predator and parasitoid) abundance dynamic and diversity on tobacco field in Purwoasri, Pasuruan. Yellow pan trap, sweep net and hand collecting methods were applied in each 10 days during tobacco growth stage (vegetative, generative until reproductive/harvesting. The results showed that application perimeter trap crop with C. juncea in tobacco fields able to help arthropod conservation of natural enemies on all tobacco growth stages. These results were evidenced the increase in abundance of predators and parasitoids and the increased value of the Diversity Index (H') and Evenness Index (EH) in all tobacco growth phases. Composition of predator and parasitoid in the habitat modification field were more diverse than in the conventional field

  4. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-01-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO 2 emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels

  5. Evaluating environmental consequences of producing herbaceous crops for bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McLaughlin, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    The environmental costs and benefits of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in kterms of the relative effects on soil, water, and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Dept. of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a perennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as a bioenergy candidate. This choice was based on its high yields, high nutrient use efficiency, and wide geographic distribution, and also on its poistive environmental attributes. The latter include its positive effects on soil quality and stabiity, its cover value for wildlife, and the lower inputs of enerty, water, and agrochemicals required per unit of energy produced. A comparison of the energy budgets for corn, which is the primary current source of bioethanol, and switchgrass reveals that the efficiency of energy production for a perennial grass system can exceed that for an energy intensive annual row crop by as much as 15 times. In additions reductions in CO{sub 2} emission, tied to the energetic efficiency of producing transportation fuels, are very efficient with grasses. Calculated carbon sequestration rates may exceed those of annual crops by as much as 20--30 times, due in part to carbon storage in the soil. These differences have major implications for both the rate and efficiency with which fossil energy sources can be replaced with cleaner burning biofuels.

  6. Progress and Bottlenecks in the Early Domestication of the Perennial Oilseed Silphium integrifolium, a Sunflower Substitute

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Vilela

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Silflower (Silphium integrifolium Michx. is in the early stages of domestication as a perennial version of oilseed sunflower, its close relative. Grain crops with deep perennial root systems will provide farmers with new alternatives for managing soil moisture and limiting or remediating soil erosion, fertilizer leaching, and loss of soil biota. Several cycles of selection for increased seed production potential following initial germplasm evaluation in 2002 have provided opportunities to document the botany and ecology of this relatively obscure species, to compare agronomic practices for improving its propagation and management, and to evaluate the differences between semi-domesticated and wild accessions that have accrued over this time through intentional and unintentional genetic processes. Key findings include: domestication has increased aboveground biomass at seedling and adult stages; seed yield has increased more, achieving modest improvement in harvest index. Harvest index decreases with nitrogen fertilization. Silflower acquires nitrogen and water from greater depth than typical crops. In agricultural silflower stands within its native range, we found that Puccinia silphii (rust and Eucosma giganteana (moth populations build up to unacceptable levels, but we also found genetic variation for traits contributing to resistance or tolerance. Breeding or management for reduced height and vegetative plasticity should be top priorities for future silflower research outside its native range.

  7. A transcriptome map of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Studer Bruno

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are increasingly becoming the DNA marker system of choice due to their prevalence in the genome and their ability to be used in highly multiplexed genotyping assays. Although needed in high numbers for genome-wide marker profiles and genomics-assisted breeding, a surprisingly low number of validated SNPs are currently available for perennial ryegrass. Results A perennial ryegrass unigene set representing 9,399 genes was used as a reference for the assembly of 802,156 high quality reads generated by 454 transcriptome sequencing and for in silico SNP discovery. Out of more than 15,433 SNPs in 1,778 unigenes fulfilling highly stringent assembly and detection parameters, a total of 768 SNP markers were selected for GoldenGate genotyping in 184 individuals of the perennial ryegrass mapping population VrnA, a population being previously evaluated for important agronomic traits. A total of 592 (77% of the SNPs tested were successfully called with a cluster separation above 0.9. Of these, 509 (86% genic SNP markers segregated in the VrnA mapping population, out of which 495 were assigned to map positions. The genetic linkage map presented here comprises a total of 838 DNA markers (767 gene-derived markers and spans 750 centi Mogan (cM with an average marker interval distance of less than 0.9 cM. Moreover, it locates 732 expressed genes involved in a broad range of molecular functions of different biological processes in the perennial ryegrass genome. Conclusions Here, we present an efficient approach of using next generation sequencing (NGS data for SNP discovery, and the successful design of a 768-plex Illumina GoldenGate genotyping assay in a complex genome. The ryegrass SNPs along with the corresponding transcribed sequences represent a milestone in the establishment of genetic and genomics resources available for this species and constitute a further step towards molecular breeding

  8. Considerations for Managing Agricultural Co-Existence between Transgenic and Non-Transgenic Cultivars of Outcrossing Perennial Forage Plants in Dairy Pastures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin F. Smith

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many of the major forage species used in agriculture are outcrossing and rely on the exchange of pollen between individuals for reproduction; this includes the major species used for dairy production in grazing systems: perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. and white clover (Trifolium repens L.. Cultivars of these species have been co-existing since contrasting cultivars were developed using plant breeding, but the consequences and need for strategies to manage co-existence have been made more prominent with the advent of genetic modification. Recent technological developments have seen the experimental evaluation of genetically modified (GM white clover and perennial ryegrass, although there is no current commercial growing of GM cultivars of these species. Co-existence frameworks already exist for two major cross-pollinated grain crops (canola and maize in Europe, and for alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. in the US, so many of the principles that the industry has developed for co-existence in these crops such as detection techniques, segregation, and agronomic management provide lessons and guidelines for outcrossing forage species, that are discussed in this paper.

  9. Nutrient uptake and biomass accumulation for eleven different field crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. HAKALA

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Oil hemp (Cannabis sativa L., quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd., false flax (Camelina sativa (L. Crantz, caraway (Carum carvi L., dyer’s woad (Isatis tinctoria L., nettle (Urtica dioica L., reed canary grass (RCG (Phalaris arundinacea L., buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, linseed (Linum usitatissimum L., timothy (Phleum pratense L. and barley (Hordeum vulgare L. were grown under uniform conditions in pots containing well fertilised loam soil. Dry matter (DM accumulation was measured repeatedly, and contents of minerals N, P, K, Ca and Mg at maturity. Annual crops accumulated above-ground biomass faster than perennials, while perennials had higher DM accumulation rates below ground. Seeds had high concentrations of N and P, while green biomass had high concentrations of K and Ca. Stems and roots had low concentrations of minerals. Concentrations of K and P were high in quinoa and caraway, and that of P in buckwheat. Hemp and nettle had high Ca concentrations, and quinoa had high Mg concentration. N and P were efficiently harvested with seed, Ca and K with the whole biomass. Perennials could prevent soil erosion and add carbon to the soil in the long term, while annuals compete better with weeds and prevent erosion during early growth. Nutrient balances in a field could be modified and nutrient leaching reduced by careful selection of the crop and management practices.;

  10. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiatante, Gianpasquale; Meriggi, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs), such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops). Moreover, the

  11. The Importance of Rotational Crops for Biodiversity Conservation in Mediterranean Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianpasquale Chiatante

    Full Text Available Nowadays we are seeing the largest biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To conserve biodiversity it is essential to plan protected areas using a prioritization approach, which takes into account the current biodiversity value of the sites. Considering that in the Mediterranean Basin the agro-ecosystems are one of the most important parts of the landscape, the conservation of crops is essential to biodiversity conservation. In the framework of agro-ecosystem conservation, farmland birds play an important role because of their representativeness, and because of their steady decline in the last Century in Western Europe. The main aim of this research was to define if crop dominated landscapes could be useful for biodiversity conservation in a Mediterranean area in which the landscape was modified by humans in the last thousand years and was affected by the important biogeographical phenomenon of peninsula effect. To assess this, we identify the hotspots and the coldspots of bird diversity in southern Italy both during the winter and in the breeding season. In particular we used a scoring method, defining a biodiversity value for each cell of a 1-km grid superimposed on the study area, using data collected by fieldwork following a stratified random sampling design. This value was analysed by a multiple linear regression analysis and was predicted in the whole study area. Then we defined the hotspots and the coldspots of the study area as 15% of the cells with higher and lower value of biodiversity, respectively. Finally, we used GAP analysis to compare hotspot distribution with the current network of protected areas. This study showed that the winter hotspots of bird diversity were associated with marshes and water bodies, shrublands, and irrigated crops, whilst the breeding hotspots were associated with more natural areas (e.g. transitional wood/shrubs, such as open areas (natural grasslands, pastures and not irrigated crops

  12. Comparative mapping of the wild perennial Glycine latifolia and soybean (G. max reveals extensive chromosome rearrangements in the genus Glycine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungyul Chang

    Full Text Available Soybean (Glycine max L. Mer., like many cultivated crops, has a relatively narrow genetic base and lacks diversity for some economically important traits. Glycine latifolia (Benth. Newell & Hymowitz, one of the 26 perennial wild Glycine species related to soybean in the subgenus Glycine Willd., shows high levels of resistance to multiple soybean pathogens and pests including Alfalfa mosaic virus, Heterodera glycines Ichinohe and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib. de Bary. However, limited information is available on the genomes of these perennial Glycine species. To generate molecular resources for gene mapping and identification, high-density linkage maps were constructed for G. latifolia using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers generated by genotyping by sequencing and evaluated in an F2 population and confirmed in an F5 population. In each population, greater than 2,300 SNP markers were selected for analysis and segregated to form 20 large linkage groups. Marker orders were similar in the F2 and F5 populations. The relationships between G. latifolia linkage groups and G. max and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. chromosomes were examined by aligning SNP-containing sequences from G. latifolia to the genome sequences of G. max and P. vulgaris. Twelve of the 20 G. latifolia linkage groups were nearly collinear with G. max chromosomes. The remaining eight G. latifolia linkage groups appeared to be products of multiple interchromosomal translocations relative to G. max. Large syntenic blocks also were observed between G. latifolia and P. vulgaris. These experiments are the first to compare genome organizations among annual and perennial Glycine species and common bean. The development of molecular resources for species closely related to G. max provides information into the evolution of genomes within the genus Glycine and tools to identify genes within perennial wild relatives of cultivated soybean that could be beneficial to soybean

  13. Changing Land Use from Cotton to Bioenergy Crops in the Southern Great Plains: Implications on Carbon and Water Vapor Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, N.; Sharma, S.

    2016-12-01

    We are facing an unprecedented challenge in securing America's energy future. To address this challenge, increased biofuel crop production is needed. Although first-generation biofuels like corn ethanol are available, second-generation biofuels are gaining importance because they don't directly compete with food production. Second-generation biofuels are made from the by-products of intensive agriculture or from less-intensive agriculture on more marginal lands. The Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt can play a significant role in this effort through a change from more conventional crops (like continuous cotton) to second-generation biofuel feedstocks (biomass sorghum and perennial grasses). While we believe there would be environmental benefits associated with this change in land use, their exact nature and magnitude have not been investigated for this region. The overall goal of the proposed study was to investigate the water and carbon (C) fluxes associated with the change in agricultural land use to biofuels-dominated cropping systems in the semi-arid Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt region. Eddy covariance flux towers were established at selected producer fields (cotton, perennial grasses and biomass sorghum) in the Southern Great Plains region. The fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapor and sensible heat between the surface and the atmosphere will be measured throughout the year. The results have demonstrated that the dynamics of C and water vapor fluxes for these agroecosystems were strongly affected by environmental variables, management factors, and crop phenology. Detailed results will be presented at the meeting.

  14. Review of literature on perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) as potential cover crop in the tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Kartika, J.G.; Reyes, Manuel R.; Susila, Anas D.

    2007-01-01

    The use of living mulch as a substitute for plastic mulch is increasing in the tropics as researchers have gradually shifted their attention to organic farming systems. Arachis pintoi is a perennial plant and a member of the leguminosae family. A. pintoi has good potential for use as a living mulch in association with vegetables, trees, or grass (as a pasture) because of its ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and to grow in heavy shade. This work, based on fact sheets, journals and t...

  15. Importance and condition of forage crops seed production in agriculture of the Republic of Serbia

    OpenAIRE

    Đokić Dragoslav; Terzić Dragan; Milenković Jasmina; Dinić Bora; Anđelković Bojan; Stanisavljević Rade; Barać Saša

    2013-01-01

    For contemporary and economical livestock production, especially cattle and sheep raising, it is necessary to achieve high production of livestock feed while reducing production costs. Improving the production of perennial grasses and legumes creates a good basis for the development of livestock production in different agro-ecological conditions of Serbia. It also establishes a link between farming and animal husbandry, which is of particular importance for the preservation and higher fertili...

  16. Nitrate leaching from organic arable crop rotations is mostly determined by autumn field management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Askegaard, M; Olesen, Jørgen E; Rasmussen, Ilse Ankjær

    2011-01-01

    Two main challenges facing organic arable farming are the supply of nitrogen (N) to the crop and the control of perennial weeds. Nitrate leaching from different organic arable crop rotations was investigated over three consecutive four-year crop rotations in a field experiment at three locations....../volunteers had on avg. 30 kg N ha−1, and the largest N leaching losses were found after stubble cultivation (avg. 55 kg N ha−1). The N leaching losses increased with increasing number of autumn soil cultivations...

  17. Energy from biomass: Results of two-years trials on annual and perennial Herba ceous species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angelini, L.; Ceccarini, L.; Oggiano, N.; Bonari, E.

    1994-01-01

    In the framework of the PRisCa Project (Alternative Crops Research Project) a number of germ plasm collections were set up at the Department of Agronomy of the University of Pisa in order to identify annual and perennial herbaceous species utilizable for electric energy production. The first results deriving from trials carried out in 1992-93 are reported. The following species were used: 1) Annual: Sorghum bicolor, Hibiscus cannabinus, Pennisetum americanum, Kochia scoparia. 2) Perennial: Cynara cardunculus, Helianthus tuberosus, Miscantus sinensis, Arundo donax. Almost all species tested were represented by several genotypes. The total amount of species and genotype tested was 16. On all species, main phenological, biometric and productive determinations were performed. The hypothesized final use was intended to be electric power production by direct combustion and/or gasification. In addition, specific calorific value was also determined by adiabatic calorimeter as well as chemical composition of dry matter and ash composition. Species showing high yield potential, both from the quantitative and qualitative point of view, were Sorghum bicolor and Kochia scoparia (among annuals), as well as Miscanthus sinensis and Arundo donax (among perennials). Total dry matter yield ranged from about 23 tha -1 in the annual species to about 56 tha -1 in the perennials. The highest total calorific power obtainable from dry epigeic biomass was measured in Sorghum bicolor and Arundo donax - 4023 Kcal Kg -1 and 4166 Kcal Kg -1 respectively. The preliminary results suggest that vegetable biomass is environmentally-friendly and could contribute significantly to the world energy needs. (author)

  18. Emission of CO2 from energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turhollow, A.F.

    1991-01-01

    The production of cellulosic energy crops (e.g., short rotation woody crops and herbaceous crops) make a net contribution of CO 2 to the atmosphere to the extent that fossil-fuel based inputs are used in their production. The CO 2 released from the use of the biomass is merely CO 2 that has recently been removed from the atmosphere by the plant growth process. Fossil inputs used in the production of energy corps include energy invested in fertilizers and pesticides, and petroleum fuels used for machinery operation such as site preparation, weed control, harvesting, and hauling. Fossil inputs used come from petroleum, natural gas, and electricity derived from fossil sources. No fossil inputs for the capital used to produce fertilizers, pesticides, or machinery is calculated in this analysis. In this paper calculations are made for the short rotation woody crop hybrid poplar (Populus spp.), the annual herbaceous crop sorghum (Sorghum biocolor [L.] Moench), and the perennial herbaceous crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). For comparison purposes, emissions of CO 2 from corn (Zea mays L.) are calculated

  19. Residual soil nitrate content and profitability of five cropping systems in northwest Iowa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Haan, Robert L; Schuiteman, Matthew A; Vos, Ronald J

    2017-01-01

    Many communities in the Midwestern United States obtain their drinking water from shallow alluvial wells that are vulnerable to contamination by NO3-N from the surrounding agricultural landscape. The objective of this research was to assess cropping systems with the potential to produce a reasonable return for farmers while simultaneously reducing the risk of NO3-N movement into these shallow aquifers. From 2009 to 2013 we conducted a field experiment in northwest Iowa in which we evaluated five cropping systems for residual (late fall) soil NO3-N content and profitability. Soil samples were taken annually from the top 30 cm of the soil profile in June and August, and from the top 180 cm in November (late fall). The November samples were divided into 30 cm increments for analysis. Average residual NO3-N content in the top 180 cm of the soil profile following the 2010 to 2013 cropping years was 134 kg ha-1 for continuous maize (Zea mays L.) with a cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop, 18 kg ha-1 for perennial grass, 60 kg ha-1 for a three year oat (Avena sativa L.)-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)-maize rotation, 85 kg ha-1 for a two year oat/red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)-maize rotation, and 90 kg ha-1 for a three year soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.)-winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-maize rotation. However, residual NO3-N in the 90 to 180 cm increment of the soil profile was not significantly higher in the oat-alfalfa-maize cropping system than the perennial grass system. For 2010 to 2013, average profit ($ ha-1 yr-1) was 531 for continuous corn, 347 for soybean-winter wheat-maize, 264 for oat-alfalfa-maize, 140 for oat/red clover-maize, and -384 (loss) for perennial grass. Considering both residual soil NO3-N and profitability data, the oat-alfalfa-maize rotation performed the best in this setting. However, given current economic pressures widespread adoption is likely to require changes in public policy.

  20. State of the art and perspectives of the cultivation of energy crops in Hesse. Significance, procedure of cultivation, sustainability; Stand und Perspektiven des Energiepflanzenanbaus in Hessen. Bedeutung, Anbauverfahren, Nachhaltigkeit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-15

    In line with the further increase in the use of renewable energy sources, the expansion of biomass utilization in Hesse increasingly becomes important. In light of the increasing criticism of the cultivation of energy crops, it is important to learn about the situation in the Federal State Hessen (Federal Republic of Germany). Under this aspect, the booklet under consideration contributes to proper information and creating acceptance in the current discussion on the development of bioenergy in Hessen. In particular, the brochure reports on the following topics: (1) What is the advantage of the bioenergy in Hessen?; (2) Scope of the cultivation of energy crops in the Hessian agriculture?; (3) Economic aspects of the cultivation of energy crops for biogas plants; (4) Cultivation of oil crops for the production of biodiesel oil and vegetable oil; (5) Cultivation of cereals and sugar beet for bioethanol production; (6) One-year-old energy crops; (7) Perennial energy crops; (8) Aspects of sustainability in the cultivation of energy crops; (9) Areas of conflict in the cultivation of energy crops.

  1. Mapping the temporary and perennial character of whole river networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Ferreras, A. M.; Barquín, J.

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution of temporary and perennial river channels in a whole catchment is important for effective integrated basin management and river biodiversity conservation. However, this information is usually not available or is incomplete. In this study, we present a statistically based methodology to classify river segments from a whole river network (Deva-Cares catchment, Northern Spain) as temporary or perennial. This method is based on an a priori classification of a subset of river segments as temporary or perennial, using field surveys and aerial images, and then running Random Forest models to predict classification membership for the rest of the river network. The independent variables and the river network were derived following a computer-based geospatial simulation of riverine landscapes. The model results show high values of overall accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for the evaluation of the fitted model to the training and testing data set (≥0.9). The most important independent variables were catchment area, area occupied by broadleaf forest, minimum monthly precipitation in August, and average catchment elevation. The final map shows 7525 temporary river segments (1012.5 km) and 3731 perennial river segments (662.5 km). A subsequent validation of the mapping results using River Habitat Survey data and expert knowledge supported the validity of the proposed maps. We conclude that the proposed methodology is a valid method for mapping the limits of flow permanence that could substantially increase our understanding of the spatial links between terrestrial and aquatic interfaces, improving the research, management, and conservation of river biodiversity and functioning.

  2. Identifying obstacles and ranking common biological control research priorities for Europe to manage most economically important pests in arable, vegetable and perennial crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Bischoff-Schaefer, Monika; Bluemel, Sylvia; Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, Silke; Dreux, Laure; Jansen, Jean Pierre; Kiss, Jozsef; Kohl, Jurgen; Kudsk, Per; Malausa, Thibaut; Messéan, Antoine; Nicot, Philippe C.; Ricci, Pierre; Thibierge, Jérôme; Villeneuve, François

    2017-01-01

    EU agriculture is currently in transition from conventional crop protection to integrated pest management (IPM). Because biocontrol is a key component of IPM, many European countries recently have intensified their national efforts on biocontrol research and innovation (R&I), although such

  3. Accuracy of Genomic Prediction in a Commercial Perennial Ryegrass Breeding Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Fè

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of genomic selection (GS in plant breeding, so far, has been mainly evaluated in crops farmed as homogeneous varieties, and the results have been generally positive. Fewer results are available for species, such as forage grasses, that are grown as heterogenous families (developed from multiparent crosses in which the control of the genetic variation is far more complex. Here we test the potential for implementing GS in the breeding of perennial ryegrass ( L. using empirical data from a commercial forage breeding program. Biparental F and multiparental synthetic (SYN families of diploid perennial ryegrass were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing, and phenotypes for five different traits were analyzed. Genotypes were expressed as family allele frequencies, and phenotypes were recorded as family means. Different models for genomic prediction were compared by using practically relevant cross-validation strategies. All traits showed a highly significant level of genetic variance, which could be traced using the genotyping assay. While there was significant genotype × environment (G × E interaction for some traits, accuracies were high among F families and between biparental F and multiparental SYN families. We have demonstrated that the implementation of GS in grass breeding is now possible and presents an opportunity to make significant gains for various traits.

  4. Evaluation of Bioenergy Crop Growth and the Impacts Of Bioenergy Crops on Streamflow, Tile Drain Flow and Nutrient Losses Using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, T.; Raj, C.; Chaubey, I.; Gitau, M. W.; Arnold, J. G.; Srinivasan, R.; Kiniry, J. R.; Engel, B.

    2016-12-01

    Bioenery crops are expected to produce large quantities of biofuel at a national scale to meet US biofuel goals. It is important to study bioenergy crop growth and the impacts on water quantity and quality to identify environment-friendly and productive biofeedstocks. In this study, SWAT2012 with a new tile drainage routine (DRAINMOD routine) and improved perennial grass and tree growth simulation was used to model long-term annual biomass yields, streamflow, tile flow, sediment load, total nitrogen, nitrate load in flow, nitrate in tile flow, soluble nitrogen, organic nitrogen, total phosphorus, mineral phosphorus and organic phosphorus under various bioenergy scenarios in an extensively agricultural watershed in the Midwestern US. The results showed that simulated annual crop yields matched with observed county level values for corn and soybeans, and were reasonable for Miscanthus, switchgrass and hybrid poplar. Removal of 38% of corn stover (66,439 Mg/yr) with Miscanthus production on highly erodible areas and marginal land (19,039 Mg/yr) provided the highest biofeedstock production. Streamflow, tile flow, erosion and nutrient losses were reduced under bioenergy crop scenarios of Miscanthus, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar on highly erodible areas, marginal land. Corn stover removal did not result in significant water quality changes. The increase in sediment load and nutrient losses under corn stover removal could be offset with production of other bioenergy crops. The study showed that corn stover removal with bioenergy crops both on highly erodible areas and marginal land could provide more biofuel production relative to the baseline, and was beneficial to hydrology and water quality at the watershed scale, providing guidance for further research on evaluation of bioenergy crop scenarios in a typical extensively tile-drained watershed in the Midwestern U.S.

  5. Growing C4 perennial grass for bioenergy using a new Agro-BGC ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Vittorio, A. V.; Anderson, R. S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate, spatially gridded estimates of bioenergy crop yields require 1) biophysically accurate crop growth models and 2) careful parameterization of unavailable inputs to these models. To meet the first requirement we have added the capacity to simulate C4 perennial grass as a bioenergy crop to the Biome-BGC ecosystem model. This new model, hereafter referred to as Agro-BGC, includes enzyme driven C4 photosynthesis, individual live and dead leaf, stem, and root carbon/nitrogen pools, separate senescence and litter fall processes, fruit growth, optional annual seeding, flood irrigation, a growing degree day phenology with a killing frost option, and a disturbance handler that effectively simulates fertilization, harvest, fire, and incremental irrigation. There are four Agro-BGC vegetation parameters that are unavailable for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and to meet the second requirement we have optimized the model across multiple calibration sites to obtain representative values for these parameters. We have verified simulated switchgrass yields against observations at three non-calibration sites in IL. Agro-BGC simulates switchgrass growth and yield at harvest very well at a single site. Our results suggest that a multi-site optimization scheme would be adequate for producing regional-scale estimates of bioenergy crop yields on high spatial resolution grids.

  6. The transfer of radionuclides from contaminated groundwater into perennial ryegrass and winter wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wadey, P.; Shaw, G.; Butler, A. P.; Tompkins, J. A.; Wheater, H. S.

    1996-01-01

    Lysimeter studies of the migration of radionuclides from a contaminated water table and their subsequent uptake by plant roots have been undertaken using two distinct soil types and varying crop regimes. An eight year multi-disciplinary research project (funded by Nirex) has concentrated on the upward migration of contaminants from near-surface water tables, and their uptake by winter wheat and perennial ryegrass crops. Experimental data are presented for the movement and uptake of radiocaesium 137 Cs. These data show significant movement in the unsaturated zone during the first year of dosing, followed by progressively reduced availability in subsequent years. A suite of physically based hydrological and solute transport models has been developed to model radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone. Model simulations, based on a conventional advection-dispersion representation incorporating linear sorption processes, were unable to describe adequately the distribution of radiocaesium within the soil profile. However, the introduction of root storage and translocation processes provided significantly improved results. (author)

  7. Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E; Cane, James H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-02-07

    The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, global production volumes give a contrasting perspective, since 60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated. Using all crops traded on the world market and setting aside crops that are solely passively self-pollinated, wind-pollinated or parthenocarpic, we then evaluated the level of dependence on animal-mediated pollination for crops that are directly consumed by humans. We found that pollinators are essential for 13 crops, production is highly pollinator dependent for 30, moderately for 27, slightly for 21, unimportant for 7, and is of unknown significance for the remaining 9. We further evaluated whether local and landscape-wide management for natural pollination services could help to sustain crop diversity and production. Case studies for nine crops on four continents revealed that agricultural intensification jeopardizes wild bee communities and their stabilizing effect on pollination services at the landscape scale.

  8. Climate protection and energy crops. Potential for greenhouse gas emission reduction through crop rotation and crop planning; Klimaschutz und Energiepflanzenanbau. Potenziale zur Treibhausgasemissionsminderung durch Fruchtfolge- und Anbauplanung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eckner, Jens [Thueringer Landesanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft (Germany); Peter, Christiane; Vetter, Armin

    2015-07-01

    The EVA project compares nationwide energy crops and crop rotations on site-specific productivity. In addition to agronomic suitability for cultivation economic and environmental benefits and consequences are analyzed and evaluated. As part of sustainability assessment of the tested cultivation options LCAs are established. The model MiLA developed in the project uses empirical test data and site parameters to prepare the inventory balances. At selected locations different cultivation and fertilization regimes are examined comparatively. In the comparison of individual crops and crop rotation combinations cultivation of W.Triticale-GPS at the cereals favor location Dornburg causes the lowest productrelated GHG-emissions. Due to the efficient implementation of nitrogen and the substrate properties of maize is the cultivation despite high area-related emissions and N-expenses at a low level of emissions. Because of the intensity the two culture systems offer lower emissions savings potentials with high area efficiency. Extensification with perennial alfalfagrass at low nitrogen effort and adequate yield performance show low product-related emissions. Closing the nutrient cycles through a recirculation of digestates instead of using mineral fertilization has a climate-friendly effect. Adapted intensifies of processing or reduced tillage decrease diesel consumption and their related emissions.

  9. Virtual water flows and water-footprint of agricultural crop production, import and export: A case study for Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtull-Trauring, E; Bernstein, N

    2018-05-01

    Agriculture is the largest global consumer of freshwater. As the volume of international trade continues to rise, so does the understanding that trade of water-intensive crops from areas with high precipitation, to arid regions can help mitigate water scarcity, highlighting the importance of crop water accounting. Virtual-Water, or Water-Footprint [WF] of agricultural crops, is a powerful indicator for assessing the extent of water use by plants, contamination of water bodies by agricultural practices and trade between countries, which underlies any international trade of crops. Most available studies of virtual-water flows by import/export of agricultural commodities were based on global databases, which are considered to be of limited accuracy. The present study analyzes the WF of crop production, import, and export on a country level, using Israel as a case study, comparing data from two high-resolution local databases and two global datasets. Results for local datasets demonstrate a WF of ~1200Million Cubic Meters [MCM]/year) for total crop production, ~1000MCM/year for import and ~250MCM/year for export. Fruits and vegetables comprise ~80% of Export WF (~200MCM/year), ~50% of crop production and only ~20% of the imports. Economic Water Productivity [EWP] ($/m 3 ) for fruits and vegetables is 1.5 higher compared to other crops. Moreover, the results based on local and global datasets varied significantly, demonstrating the importance of developing high-resolution local datasets based on local crop coefficients. Performing high resolution WF analysis can help in developing agricultural policies that include support for low WF/high EWP and limit high WF/low EWP crop export, where water availability is limited. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G. [North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  11. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-05

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  12. Nitrous oxide emissions from a Northern Great Plains soil as influenced by nitrogen management and cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusenbury, M P; Engel, R E; Miller, P R; Lemke, R L; Wallander, R

    2008-01-01

    Field measurements of N2O emissions from soils are limited for cropping systems in the semiarid northern Great Plains (NGP). The objectives were to develop N2O emission-time profiles for cropping systems in the semiarid NGP, define important periods of loss, determine the impact of best management practices on N2O losses, and estimate direct N fertilizer-induced emissions (FIE). No-till (NT) wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.)-fallow, wheat-wheat, and wheat-pea (Pisum sativum), and conventional till (CT) wheat-fallow, all with three N regimes (200 and 100 kg N ha(-1) available N, unfertilized control); plus a perennial grass-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) system were sampled over 2 yr using vented chambers. Cumulative 2-yr N2O emissions were modest in contrast to reports from more humid regions. Greatest N2O flux activity occurred following urea-N fertilization (10-wk) and during freeze-thaw cycles. Together these periods comprised up to 84% of the 2-yr total. Nitrification was probably the dominant process responsible for N2O emissions during the post-N fertilization period, while denitrification was more important during freeze-thaw cycles. Cumulative 2-yr N2O-N losses from fertilized regimes were greater for wheat-wheat (1.31 kg N ha(-1)) than wheat-fallow (CT and NT) (0.48 kg N ha(-1)), and wheat-pea (0.71 kg N ha(-1)) due to an additional N fertilization event. Cumulative losses from unfertilized cropping systems were not different from perennial grass-alfalfa (0.28 kg N ha(-1)). Tillage did not affect N2O losses for the wheat-fallow systems. Mean FIE level was equivalent to 0.26% of applied N, and considerably below the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change mean default value (1.25%).

  13. Comparing annual and perennial crops for bioenergy production - influence on nitrate leaching and energy balance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pugesgaard, Siri; Schelde, Kirsten; Ugilt Larsen, Søren

    2015-01-01

    Production of energy crops is promoted as a means to mitigate global warming by decreasing dependency on fossil energy. However, agricultural production of bioenergy can have various environmental effects depending on the crop and production system. In a field trial initiated in 2008, nitrate...... concentration in soil water was measured below winter wheat, grass-clover and willow during three growing seasons. Crop water balances were modelled to estimate the amount of nitrate leached per hectare. In addition, dry matter yields and nitrogen (N) yields were measured, and N balances and energy balances...... was also measured in an old willow crop established in 1996 from which N leaching ranged from 6 to 27 kg ha−1 yr−1. Dry matter yields ranged between 5.9 and 14.8 Mg yr−1 with lowest yield in the newly established willow and the highest yield harvested in grass-clover. Grass-clover gave the highest net...

  14. Nitrogen removal and nitrate leaching for two perennial, sod-based forage systems receiving dairy effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Kenneth R; French, Edwin C; Sweat, Lewin A; Graetz, Donald A; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Macoon, Bisoondat; Portier, Kenneth M; Rymph, Stuart J; Wade, Brett L; Prine, Gordon M; Van Horn, Harold H

    2003-01-01

    In northern Florida, year-round forage systems are used in dairy effluent sprayfields to reduce nitrate leaching. Our purpose was to quantify forage N removal and monitor nitrate N (NO3(-)-N) concentration below the rooting zone for two perennial, sod-based, triple-cropping systems over four 12-mo cycles (1996-2000). The soil is an excessively drained Kershaw sand (thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzip-samment). Effluent N rates were 500, 690, and 910 kg ha(-1) per cycle. Differences in N removal between a corn (Zea mays L.)-bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-rye (Secale cereale L.) system (CBR) and corn-perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.)-rye system (CPR) were primarily related to the performance of the perennial forages. Nitrogen removal of corn (125-170 kg ha(-1)) and rye (62-90 kg ha(-1)) was relatively stable between systems and among cycles. The greatest N removal was measured for CBR in the first cycle (408 kg ha(-1)), with the bermudagrass removing an average of 191 kg N ha(-1). In later cycles, N removal for bermudagrass declined because dry matter (DM) yield declined. Yield and N removal of perennial peanut increased over the four cycles. Nitrate N concentrations below the rooting zone were lower for CBR than CPR in the first two cycles, but differences were inconsistent in the latter two. The CBR system maintained low NO3(-)-N leaching in the first cycle when the bermudagrass was the most productive; however, it was not a sustainable system for long-term prevention of NO3(-)-N leaching due to declining bermudagrass yield in subsequent cycles. For CPR, effluent N rates > or = 500 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) have the potential to negatively affect ground water quality.

  15. Residual soil nitrate content and profitability of five cropping systems in northwest Iowa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L De Haan

    Full Text Available Many communities in the Midwestern United States obtain their drinking water from shallow alluvial wells that are vulnerable to contamination by NO3-N from the surrounding agricultural landscape. The objective of this research was to assess cropping systems with the potential to produce a reasonable return for farmers while simultaneously reducing the risk of NO3-N movement into these shallow aquifers. From 2009 to 2013 we conducted a field experiment in northwest Iowa in which we evaluated five cropping systems for residual (late fall soil NO3-N content and profitability. Soil samples were taken annually from the top 30 cm of the soil profile in June and August, and from the top 180 cm in November (late fall. The November samples were divided into 30 cm increments for analysis. Average residual NO3-N content in the top 180 cm of the soil profile following the 2010 to 2013 cropping years was 134 kg ha-1 for continuous maize (Zea mays L. with a cereal rye (Secale cereale L. cover crop, 18 kg ha-1 for perennial grass, 60 kg ha-1 for a three year oat (Avena sativa L.-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.-maize rotation, 85 kg ha-1 for a two year oat/red clover (Trifolium pratense L.-maize rotation, and 90 kg ha-1 for a three year soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr.-winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.-maize rotation. However, residual NO3-N in the 90 to 180 cm increment of the soil profile was not significantly higher in the oat-alfalfa-maize cropping system than the perennial grass system. For 2010 to 2013, average profit ($ ha-1 yr-1 was 531 for continuous corn, 347 for soybean-winter wheat-maize, 264 for oat-alfalfa-maize, 140 for oat/red clover-maize, and -384 (loss for perennial grass. Considering both residual soil NO3-N and profitability data, the oat-alfalfa-maize rotation performed the best in this setting. However, given current economic pressures widespread adoption is likely to require changes in public policy.

  16. Postharvest residues from grass seed crops for bioenergy

    OpenAIRE

    Simić, Aleksandar; Čolić, Vladislava; Vučković, Savo; Dželetović, Željko; Bijelić, Zorica; Mandić, Violeta

    2016-01-01

    During grass seed production, a large amount of low forage quality biomass has been produced. Tall growing perennial grasses such as tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) can be used as an alternative source for bioenergy production as they can be grown in less cultivated areas, their residues in seed production could be valuable energy source and can be potentially used as a dual purpose crop (bioenergy and forage). In this research, potentials o...

  17. Managed Multi-strata Tree + Crop Systems: An Agroecological Marvel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. K. Ramachandran Nair

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Today, when the emphasis on single-species production systems that is cardinal to agricultural and forestry programs the world over has resulted in serious ecosystem imbalances, the virtues of the time-tested practice of growing different species together as in managed Multi-strata Tree + Crop (MTC systems deserve serious attention. The coconut-palm-based multispecies systems in tropical homegardens and shaded perennial systems are just two such systems. A fundamental ecological principle of these systems is niche complementarity, which implies that systems that are structurally and functionally more complex than crop- or tree monocultures result in greater efficiency of resource (nutrients, light, and water capture and utilization. Others include spatial and temporal heterogeneity, perennialism, and structural and functional diversity. Unexplored or under-exploited areas of benefits of MTC systems include their ecosystem services such as carbon storage, climate regulation, and biodiversity conservation. These multispecies integrated systems indeed represent an agroecological marvel, the principles of which could be utilized in the design of sustainable as well as productive agroecosystems. Environmental and ecological specificity of MTC systems, however, is a unique feature that restricts their comparison with other land-use systems and extrapolation of the management features used in one location to another.

  18. Some ecological and socio-economic considerations for biomass energy crop production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paine, L.K.; Undersander, D.J.; Temple, S.A.; Klemme, R.M.; Peterson, T.L.; Bartelt, G.A.; Sample, D.W.; Rineer, K.C.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to suggest a regional approach to ensure that energy crop production will proceed in an ecologically and economically sustainable way. At this juncture, we have the opportunity to build into the system some ecological and socio-economic values which have not traditionally been considered. If crop species are chosen and sited properly, incorporation of energy crops into our agricultural system could provide extensive wildlife habitat and address soil and water quality concerns, in addition to generating renewable power. We recommend that three types of agricultural land be targeted for perennial biomass energy crops: (1) highly erodible land; (2) wetlands presently converted to agricultural uses; and (3) marginal agricultural land in selected regions. Fitting appropriate species to these lands, biomass crops can be successfully grown on lands not ecologically suited for conventional farming practices, thus providing an environmental benefit in addition to producing an economic return to the land owner. (author)

  19. Symbiotic N2-fixation by the cover crop Pueraria phaseoloides as influenced by litter mineralization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesterager, J.M.; Østerby, S.; Jensen, E.S.

    1995-01-01

    The perennial legume Pueraria phaseoloides is widely used as a cover crop in rubber and oil palm plantations. However, very little knowledge exists on the effect of litter mineralization from P. phaseoloides on its symbiotic N-2- fixation. The contribution from symbiotic N-2-fixation (Ndfa...

  20. Reproductive traits and evolutionary divergence between Mediterranean crops and their wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriondo, J M; Milla, R; Volis, S; Rubio de Casas, R

    2018-01-01

    Changes in reproductive traits associated with domestication critically determine the evolutionary divergence between crops and their wild relatives, as well as the potential of crop plants to become feral. In this review, we examine the genetic mechanisms of plant domestication and the different types of selection involved, and describe the particularities of domestication of Mediterranean field crops with regard to their reproductive traits, showing illustrative examples. We also explore gene flow patterns between Mediterranean field crops and their wild relatives, along with their ecological, evolutionary and economic implications. Domestication entails multiple selective processes, including direct selection, environmental adaptation and developmental constraints. In contrast to clonal propagation in perennials, sexual reproduction and seed propagation in annuals and biennials have led to a distinct pathway of evolution of reproductive traits. Thus, the initial domestication and further breeding of Mediterranean field crops has brought about changes in reproductive traits, such as higher mean values and variance of seed and fruit sizes, reduced fruit and seed toxicity, non-shattering seeds and loss of seed dormancy. Evolution under domestication is not a linear process, and bi-directional gene flow between wild and crop taxa is a frequent phenomenon. Thus, hybridisation and introgression have played a very important role in determining the genetics of current cultivars. In turn, gene flow from crops to wild relatives can lead to introgression of crop genes into wild populations and potentially alter the characteristics of natural communities. In conclusion, plant evolution under domestication has not only changed the reproductive biology of cultivated taxa, its effects are multifaceted and have implications beyond agriculture. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. Semi-continuous anaerobic digestion of different silage crops: VFAs formation, methane yield from fiber and non-fiber components and digestate composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokój, T; Bułkowska, K; Gusiatin, Z M; Klimiuk, E; Jankowski, K J

    2015-08-01

    This study presents the results of long-term semi-continuous experiments on anaerobic digestion at an HRT of 45d with ten silages: 2 annual and 4 perennial crops, and 4 mixtures of annual with perennial crops. The composition of substrates and digestates was determined with Van Soest's fractionation method. Removal of non-fiber materials ranged from 49.4% (Miscanthus sacchariflorus) to 89.3% (Zea mays alone and mixed with M. sacchariflorus), that of fiber materials like lignin ranged from 0.005% (Z. mays alone and mixed with grasses at VS ratio of 90:10%) to 46.5% (Sida hermaphrodita). The lowest stability of anaerobic digestion, as confirmed by normalized data concentrations of volatile fatty acids, was reported for both miscanthuses and sugar sorghum. The methane yield coefficients for non-fiber and fiber materials were 0.3666 and 0.2556L/g, respectively. All digestate residues had high fertilizing value, especially those from mixtures of crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Spatio-temporal Eigenvector Filtering: Application on Bioenergy Crop Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, M.; Kamarianakis, Y.; Georgescu, M.

    2017-12-01

    A suite of 10-year ensemble-based simulations was conducted to investigate the hydroclimatic impacts due to large-scale deployment of perennial bioenergy crops across the continental United States. Given the large size of the simulated dataset (about 60Tb), traditional hierarchical spatio-temporal statistical modelling cannot be implemented for the evaluation of physics parameterizations and biofuel impacts. In this work, we propose a filtering algorithm that takes into account the spatio-temporal autocorrelation structure of the data while avoiding spatial confounding. This method is used to quantify the robustness of simulated hydroclimatic impacts associated with bioenergy crops to alternative physics parameterizations and observational datasets. Results are evaluated against those obtained from three alternative Bayesian spatio-temporal specifications.

  3. Nitrate Leaching From Grain Maize After Different Tillage Methods and Long/Short Term Cover Cropping

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Elly Møller

    trial initiated in 1968 on a coarse sandy soil. The previous trial included spring sown crops undersown (with or without) perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) as cover crop, two N-rates (90 and 120 kg N ha-1) and different tillage methods (shallow tillage and ploughing autumn or spring). With maize......) previous history of long-term cover cropping, ii) soil tillage methods, iii) N rates and iv) present short-term use of cover cropping in maize. Preliminary results from 2009 – 2011 suggest that leaching after a history of cover cropping tended to be higher than after no history of cover cropping......, but the effect was insignificant. The effect of tillage and previous N rates were also insignificant but the present use of cover crops had a small but significant decreasing effect on leaching compared to no cover cropping. The cover crop was well established in both years but grew less vigorously during autumn...

  4. Biogas production from energy crops and agriculture residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, G.

    2010-12-15

    In this thesis, the feasibility of utilizing energy crops (willow and miscanthus) and agriculture residues (wheat straw and corn stalker) in an anaerobic digestion process for biogas production was evaluated. Potential energy crops and agriculture residues were screened according to their suitability for biogas production. Moreover, pretreatment of these biomasses by using wet explosion method was studied and the effect of the wet explosion process was evaluated based on the increase of (a) sugar release and (b) methane potential when comparing the pretreated biomass and raw biomass. Ensiling of perennial crops was tested as a storage method and pretreatment method for enhancement of the biodegradability of the crops. The efficiency of the silage process was evaluated based on (a) the amount of biomass loss during storage and (b) the effect of the silage on methane potential. Co-digestion of raw and wet explosion pretreated energy crops and agriculture residues with swine manure at various volatile solids (VS) ratio between crop and manure was carried out by batch tests and continuous experiments. The efficiency of the co-digestion experiment was evaluated based on (a) the methane potential in term of ml CH4 produced per g of VS-added and (b) the amount of methane produced per m3 of reactor volume. (Author)

  5. Characteristics important for organic breeding of vegetable crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdravković Jasmina

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The remarkable development and application of new genetic The Institute for Vegetable Crops possesses a rich germplasm collection of vegetables, utilized as gene resource for breeding specific traits. Onion and garlic breeding programs are based on chemical composition improvement. There are programs for identification and use of genotypes characterized by high tolerance to economically important diseases. Special attention is paid to breeding cucumber and tomato lines tolerant to late blight. As a result, late blight tolerant pickling cucumber line, as well as late blight tolerant tomato lines and hybrids are realized. Research on bean drought stress tolerance is initiated. Lettuce breeding program including research on spontaneous flora is started and interspecies hybrids were observed as possible genetic variability source. It is important to have access to a broad range of vegetable genotypes in order to meet the needs of organic agriculture production. Appreciating the concept of sustainable agriculture, it is important to introduce organic agriculture programs in breeding institutions.

  6. Determination of microbial protein in perennial ryegrass silage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driehuis, F.; Wikselaar, van P.G.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial matter fraction was determined in perennial ryegrass silages of different dry-matter (DM) contents, ensiled with or without Lactobacillus plantarum. 15N-Leucine and the bacterial cell wall constituent diaminopimelic acid (DAPA) were used as markers for microbial-N. Perennial ryegrass

  7. Impact of mine waste dumps on growth and biomass of economically important crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathiyazhagan, Narayanan; Natarajan, Devarajan

    2012-11-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of magnesite and bauxite waste dumps on growth and biochemical parameters of some edible and economically important plants such as Vigna radiata, V. mungo, V. unguiculata, Eleusine coracana, Cajanus cajan, Pennisetum glaucum, Macrotyloma uniflorum, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolour, Sesamum indicum, Ricinus communis, Brassica juncea, Gossypium hirsutum and Jatropha curcas. The growth rate of all the crops was observed in the range of 75 to 100% in magnesite and 15 to 100% in bauxite mine soil. The moisture content of roots and shoots of all the crops were in the range of 24 to 77, 20 to 88% and 42 to 87, 59 to 88% respectively. The height of the crops was in the range of 2.6 to 48 cm in magnesite soil and 3 to 33 cm in bauxite soil. Thus the study shows that both mine soils reflects some physical and biomolecule impact on selected crops.

  8. A management guide for planting and production of switchgrass as a biomass crop in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elbersen, H.W.; Christian, D.G.; Bassam, N.E.; Sauerbeck, G.; Alexopoulou, E.; Sharma, N.; Piscioneri, I.

    2004-01-01

    Switchgrass is a perennial C4 grass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55º N latitude to deep into Mexico. It is used for soil conservation, forage production, as an ornamental grass and more recently as a biomass crop for ethanol, fibre, electricity and heat production. As

  9. Performance, Economics and Potential Impact of Perennial Rice PR23 Relative to Annual Rice Cultivars at Multiple Locations in Yunnan Province of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangfu Huang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Perennial grain crops hold the promise of stabilizing fragile lands, while contributing grain and grazing in mixed farming systems. Recently, perennial rice was reported to successfully survive, regrow, and yield across a diverse range of environments in Southern China and Laos, with perennial rice PR23 being identified as a prime candidate for release to farmers. This paper reports the evaluation of PR23 for release, by (1 comparing its survival, regrowth, performance, and adaptation with preferred annual rices across nine ecological regions in southern Yunnan Province of China; (2 examining the economic costs and benefits of perennial versus annual rice there; and (3 discussing the evidence for the release of PR23 as a broadly adapted and acceptable cultivar for farmers. Overall, the grain yield of PR23 was similar to those of the preferred annual rice cultivars RD23 and HXR7, but the economic analysis indicated substantial labour savings for farmers by growing the perennial instead of the annual. PR23 was comparable to the annuals in phenology, plant height, grain yield, and grain size, and was acceptable in grain and cooking quality. Farmers were keen to grow it because of reduced costs and especially savings in labour. PR23 is proposed for release to farmers because of its comparable grain yields to annual rices, its acceptable grain and milling quality, its cost and labour savings, and the likely benefits to soil stability and ecological sustainability, along with more flexible farming systems.

  10. New uses of clover-grass mixtures in the structure of fodder crops on arable land

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Sláma

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of clover-grasses in the structure of fodder crops grown on arable soil, especially those with intergeneric hybrids as the main component part, could avert the negative current trend, i.e. further decreasing the area of perennial fodder plants or fodder crops as a whole on arable soil. They have an irreplaceable role in crop sequences and in preserving the cultural character of the countryside, above all due to the fact that they improve soil fertility and microbial life in the soil and that they have an excellent pre-produce value, and, at the same time, they are applied in various farming systems (both conventional and ecological and in various climatic conditions, and agricultural businesses are well equipped for growing, harvesting and storing them. In the Czech Republic, the area of fodder crops grown on arable soil was decreased from 1,019.9 thousand hectares to mere 396.7 thousand hectares between 1980 and 2009, which is 15.6 % of the total area of arable soil whereas perennial fodder plants only take up 8.5 %. Fodder from clover crops and clover-grass growths on arable soil are one of the main resources of voluminous fodder for dairy cows. Most of this fodder is preserved through a fermentation process (silages, hay storage; a smaller part is fed as fresh fodder, or serves for production of hay. Silages made with perennial fodder plants are the most important source of both proteins and other nutrients for ruminants, especially for high-yielding milch cows. The basis of fodder production systems are the conservative elements of the landscape area (geomorphology in combination with the progressive elements (weather conditions, plants and human labour and relict ones, the representative of which is the soil. The fodder production systems in Europe are divided into five main fodder production zones. From this point of view, the areas where short-term clover-grass mixtures are grown on arable soil could be classed with Zone 4, i

  11. Water Quality Effects of Miscanthus as a Bioenergy Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, T.; Eheart, J. W.; Cai, X.

    2009-12-01

    There is increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and biofuels. Under the right conditions, environmental advantages of cultivating such crops, relative to conventional row crops, include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and waterborne pollutants, increased biodiversity and improved soil properties. This study focuses on the riverine nitrate load of cultivating miscanthus in lieu of conventional crops. Miscanthus has been identified as a high-yielding, low-input perennial grass suitable as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production and power generation by biomass combustion. To achieve the objective of this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to model runoff and stream water quality in the Salt Creek watershed in East-Central Illinois. The watershed is agricultural and its nitrogen export, like that of most other agricultural watersheds in the region, is a major contributor to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. SWAT is a hydrologic model with a built-in crop growth component. However, as miscanthus is relatively new as a crop of interest, data for the SWAT crop growth parameters for it are lacking. This study reports an evaluation of those parameters and an application of them to estimate the potential reduction in nitrate load from miscanthus cultivation under various scenarios. The miscanthus growth parameters are divided into three subsets. The first subset contains those parameters describing optimal growth under zero stress conditions, while the second contains those used to estimate nitrogen stress. Those parameters that are remaining (namely, maximum root depth and phosphorus and temperature stress parameters) are included in the third subset. To calibrate for the parameters in the first subset, simulated data from another miscanthus growth model are used. That other model is highly mechanistic and has been validated (no calibration is necessary because of its degree of mechanisticity) using

  12. Analysis of Selected Environmental Indicators in the Cultivation System of Energy Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šoltysová Božena Š

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The changes of selected chemical parameters were observed in Gleyic Fluvisols. The field experiment was established as a twofactor experiment with four energy crops (Arundo donax L., Miscanthus × giganteus, Elymus elongatus Gaertner, Sida hermafrodita and two variants of fertilization (nitrogen fertilization in rate 60 kg ha-1, without nitrogen fertilization. Soil samples were taken from the depth of 0 to 0.3 m at the beginning of the experiment in the autumn 2012 and at the end of reference period in the autumn 2015. Land management conversion from market crops to perennial energy crops cultivation has influenced changes of selected soil chemical parameters. The contents of soil organic carbon were affected by cultivated energy crops differently. It was found out that Arundo increased the organic carbon content and Miscanthus, Elymus and Sida decreased its content. At the same time, the same impact of the crops on content of available phosphorus and potassium and soil reaction was found. It was recorded that each cultivated crop decreased the soil reaction and available phosphorus content and increased the content of available potassium.

  13. Effects of stored feed cropping systems and farm size on the profitability of Maine organic dairy farm simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshide, A K; Halloran, J M; Kersbergen, R J; Griffin, T S; DeFauw, S L; LaGasse, B J; Jain, S

    2011-11-01

    United States organic dairy production has increased to meet the growing demand for organic milk. Despite higher prices received for milk, organic dairy farmers have come under increasing financial stress due to increases in concentrated feed prices over the past few years, which can make up one-third of variable costs. Market demand for milk has also leveled in the last year, resulting in some downward pressure on prices paid to dairy farmers. Organic dairy farmers in the Northeast United States have experimented with growing different forage and grain crops to maximize on-farm production of protein and energy to improve profitability. Three representative organic feed systems were simulated using the integrated farm system model for farms with 30, 120, and 220 milk cows. Increasing intensity of equipment use was represented by organic dairy farms growing only perennial sod (low) to those with corn-based forage systems, which purchase supplemental grain (medium) or which produce and feed soybeans (high). The relative profitability of these 3 organic feed systems was strongly dependent on dairy farm size. From results, we suggest smaller organic dairy farms can be more profitable with perennial sod-based rather than corn-based forage systems due to lower fixed costs from using only equipment associated with perennial forage harvest and storage. The largest farm size was more profitable using a corn-based system due to greater economies of scale for growing soybeans, corn grain, winter cereals, and corn silages. At an intermediate farm size of 120 cows, corn-based forage systems were more profitable if perennial sod was not harvested at optimum quality, corn was grown on better soils, or if milk yield was 10% higher. Delayed harvest decreased the protein and energy content of perennial sod crops, requiring more purchased grain to balance the ration and resulting in lower profits. Corn-based systems were less affected by lower perennial forage quality, as corn silage

  14. Miscanthus: A Review of European Experience with a Novel Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scurlock, J.M.O.

    1999-02-01

    Miscanthus is a tall perennial grass which has been evaluated in Europe over the past 5-10 years as a new bioenergy crop. The sustained European interest in miscanthus suggests that this novel energy crop deserves serious investigation as a possible candidate biofuel crop for the US alongside switchgrass. To date, no agronomic trials or trial results for miscanthus are known from the conterminous US, so its performance under US conditions is virtually unknown. Speculating from European data, under typical agricultural practices over large areas, an average of about 8t/ha (3t/acre dry weight) may be expected at harvest time. As with most of the new bioenergy crops, there seems to be a steep ''learning curve.'' Establishment costs appear to be fairly high at present (a wide range is reported from different European countries), although these may be expected to fall as improved management techniques are developed.

  15. Productivity and carbon footprint of perennial grass-forage legume intercropping strategies with high or low nitrogen fertilizer input

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lachouani, Petra; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2016-01-01

    with either a high or a low rate of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of the grassland management including measured nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions after sward incorporation. Without applying any mineral N......A three-season field experiment was established and repeated twice with spring barley used as cover crop for different perennial grass-legume intercrops followed by a full year pasture cropping and winter wheat after sward incorporation. Two fertilization regimes were applied with plots fertilized...... carbon footprint. Thus, a reduction in N fertilizer application rates in the low input systems offsets increased N2O emissions after forage legume treatments compared to grass plots due to the N fertilizer production-related emissions. When including the subsequent wheat yield in the total aboveground...

  16. Will energy crop yields meet expectations?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Searle, Stephanie Y.; Malins, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Expectations are high for energy crops. Government policies in the United States and Europe are increasingly supporting biofuel and heat and power from cellulose, and biomass is touted as a partial solution to energy security and greenhouse gas mitigation. Here, we review the literature for yields of 5 major potential energy crops: Miscanthus spp., Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Populus spp. (poplar), Salix spp. (willow), and Eucalyptus spp. Very high yields have been achieved for each of these types of energy crops, up to 40 t ha −1  y −1 in small, intensively managed trials. But yields are significantly lower in semi-commercial scale trials, due to biomass losses with drying, harvesting inefficiency under real world conditions, and edge effects in small plots. To avoid competition with food, energy crops should be grown on non-agricultural land, which also lowers yields. While there is potential for yield improvement for each of these crops through further research and breeding programs, for several reasons the rate of yield increase is likely to be slower than historically has been achieved for cereals; these include relatively low investment, long breeding periods, low yield response of perennial grasses to fertilizer, and inapplicability of manipulating the harvest index. Miscanthus × giganteus faces particular challenges as it is a sterile hybrid. Moderate and realistic expectations for the current and future performance of energy crops are vital to understanding the likely cost and the potential of large-scale production. - Highlights: • This review covers Miscanthus, switchgrass, poplar, willow, and Eucalyptus. • High yields of energy crops are typically from small experimental plots. • Field scale yields are lower due to real world harvesting losses and edge effects. • The potential for yield improvement of energy crops is relatively limited. • Expectations must be realistic for successful policies and commercial production

  17. Seasonal versus perennial immunotherapy: evaluation after three years of treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz Lejarazu, D; Bernaola, G; Fernández, E; Audícana, M; Ventas, P; Martín, S; Fernández de Corres, L

    1993-01-01

    We have performed a comparative study to evaluate seasonal and perennial schedules after 3 years of immunotherapy. Sixty patients suffering from rhinitis and/or asthma due to grass pollen sensitization were randomly allocated to receive a semi-depot extract of Phleum pratense according to a perennial or seasonal schedule. The last year of the study, 14 patients were recruited as a control group without immunotherapy. The cumulative dose was 602 BU in the perennial group and 372 BU in the seasonal group. The frequency and severity of side-effects were similar and very low in both treated groups. The IgE level was significantly lower after perennial immunotherapy at the end of the first 2 years. A seasonal decrease in specific IgG levels was observed in patients who interrupted immunotherapy, while this was not observed in patients under the perennial schedule. Symptoms and medication scores did not show differences between groups. Nevertheless, we found a significant difference between treated patients and the control group.

  18. Field-based estimates of global warming potential in bioenergy systems of Hawaii: Crop choice and deficit irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level bal...

  19. Comparative assessment of the phytomeliorative efficiency of perennial grasses on chernozems in the transural part of Bashkortostan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khasanova, R. F.; Suyundukov, Ya. T.; Suyundukova, M. B.

    2010-01-01

    The phytomeliorative efficiency of different groups of perennial herbs was studied. The agrophysical properties of soils under natural grasses (the feather grasses Stipa pennata, S. zalesskii, and S. Lessingiana; the fescue grass Festuca pseudovina; and quack grass), sawn herbs (awnless brome, crested wheat grass, purple alfalfa, the holy clover Onobrychis sibirica, the galega Galega orientalis, and yellow sweet clover), and cereal crops (winter rye and spring wheat) were compared. The formation of the aboveground and underground phytomass and the influence of phytomeliorative herbs on the aggregate state of leached, ordinary, and southern chernozems in the Transural part of Bashkortostan were analyzed.

  20. Productivity and carbon footprint of perennial grass-forage legume intercropping strategies with high or low nitrogen fertilizer input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lachouani, Petra; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Ambus, Per; Boelt, Birte; Gislum, René

    2016-01-15

    A three-season field experiment was established and repeated twice with spring barley used as cover crop for different perennial grass-legume intercrops followed by a full year pasture cropping and winter wheat after sward incorporation. Two fertilization regimes were applied with plots fertilized with either a high or a low rate of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the carbon footprint (global warming potential) of the grassland management including measured nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions after sward incorporation. Without applying any mineral N fertilizer, the forage legume pure stand, especially red clover, was able to produce about 15 t above ground dry matter ha(-1) year(-1) saving around 325 kg mineral Nfertilizer ha(-1) compared to the cocksfoot and tall fescue grass treatments. The pure stand ryegrass yielded around 3t DM more than red clover in the high fertilizer treatment. Nitrous oxide emissions were highest in the treatments containing legumes. The LCA showed that the low input N systems had markedly lower carbon footprint values than crops from the high N input system with the pure stand legumes without N fertilization having the lowest carbon footprint. Thus, a reduction in N fertilizer application rates in the low input systems offsets increased N2O emissions after forage legume treatments compared to grass plots due to the N fertilizer production-related emissions. When including the subsequent wheat yield in the total aboveground production across the three-season rotation, the pure stand red clover without N application and pure stand ryegrass treatments with the highest N input equalled. The present study illustrate how leguminous biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) represents an important low impact renewable N source without reducing crop yields and thereby farmers earnings. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops

    OpenAIRE

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E; Cane, James H; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja

    2006-01-01

    The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, glo...

  2. Effects of catch crop type and root depth on nitrogen leaching and yield of spring barley

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sapkota, Tek Bahadur; Askegaard, Margrethe; Lægdsmand, Mette

    2012-01-01

    [chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), fodder radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)] and their effect on soil mineral N (NO3− and NH4+) in different soil layers by using the FASSET model. The simulated results of catch crop biomass and root growth and mineral N in the soil...

  3. Foregone benefits of important food crop improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    A number of new crops have been developed that address important traits of particular relevance for smallholder farmers in Africa. Scientists, policy makers, and other stakeholders have raised concerns that the approval process for these new crops causes delays that are often scientifically unjustified. This article develops a real option model for the optimal regulation of a risky technology that enhances economic welfare and reduces malnutrition. We consider gradual adoption of the technology and show that delaying approval reduces uncertainty about perceived risks of the technology. Optimal conditions for approval incorporate parameters of the stochastic processes governing the dynamics of risk. The model is applied to three cases of improved crops, which either are, or are expected to be, delayed by the regulatory process. The benefits and costs of the crops are presented in a partial equilibrium that considers changes in adoption over time and the foregone benefits caused by a delay in approval under irreversibility and uncertainty. We derive the equilibrium conditions where the net-benefits of the technology equal the costs that would justify a delay. The sooner information about the safety of the technology arrive, the lower the costs for justifying a delay need to be i.e. it pays more to delay. The costs of a delay can be substantial: e.g. a one year delay in approval of the pod-borer resistant cowpea in Nigeria will cost the country about 33 million USD to 46 million USD and between 100 and 3,000 lives. PMID:28749984

  4. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore L. Cosentino

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  5. Agronomic, Energetic and Environmental Aspects of Biomass Energy Crops Suitable for Italian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppina M. D’Agosta

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The review, after a short introduction on the tendencies of the European Community Policy on biomasses, describes the agronomic, energy potential and environmental aspects of biomass crops for energy in relation to the research activity carried out in Italy on this topic, differentiating crops on the basis of the main energy use: biodiesel and bioethanol (which refers to “first generation biofuel”, heat and electricity. Currently, many of the crops for potential energy purposes are food crops (wheat, barley, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum, sugar beet and their production may be used as biofuel source (bioethanol and biodiesel since their crop management aspects are well known and consequently they are immediately applicable. Other species that could be used, highly productive in biomass, such as herbaceous perennial crops (Arundo donax, Miscanthus spp., cardoon, annual crops (sweet sorghum, short rotation woody crops (SRF have been carefully considered in Italy, but they still exhibit critical aspects related to propagation technique, low-input response, harvest and storage technique, cultivars and mechanization. Crops for food, however, often have negative energetic indices and environmental impacts (carbon sequestration, Life Cycle Assessment, consequent to their low productivity. Conversely, crops which are more productive in biomass, show both a more favourable energy balance and environmental impact.

  6. Pest-suppression potential of midwestern landscapes under contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy D Meehan

    Full Text Available Biomass crops grown on marginal soils are expected to fuel an emerging bioenergy industry in the United States. Bioenergy crop choice and position in the landscape could have important impacts on a range of ecosystem services, including natural pest-suppression (biocontrol services provided by predatory arthropods. In this study we use predation rates of three sentinel crop pests to develop a biocontrol index (BCI summarizing pest-suppression potential in corn and perennial grass-based bioenergy crops in southern Wisconsin, lower Michigan, and northern Illinois. We show that BCI is higher in perennial grasslands than in corn, and increases with the amount of perennial grassland in the surrounding landscape. We develop an empirical model for predicting BCI from information on energy crop and landscape characteristics, and use the model in a qualitative assessment of changes in biocontrol services for annual croplands on prime agricultural soils under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios. Our analysis suggests that the expansion of annual energy crops onto 1.2 million ha of existing perennial grasslands on marginal soils could reduce BCI between -10 and -64% for nearly half of the annual cropland in the region. In contrast, replacement of the 1.1 million ha of existing annual crops on marginal land with perennial energy crops could increase BCI by 13 to 205% on over half of the annual cropland in the region. Through comparisons with other independent studies, we find that our biocontrol index is negatively related to insecticide use across the Midwest, suggesting that strategically positioned, perennial bioenergy crops could reduce insect damage and insecticide use on neighboring food and forage crops. We suggest that properly validated environmental indices can be used in decision support systems to facilitate integrated assessments of the environmental and economic impacts of different bioenergy policies.

  7. Genome skimming reveals the origin of the Jerusalem Artichoke tuber crop species: neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Dan G; Kane, Nolan C; Ebert, Daniel P; Rieseberg, Loren H

    2014-02-01

    The perennial sunflower Helianthus tuberosus, known as Jerusalem Artichoke or Sunchoke, was cultivated in eastern North America before European contact. As such, it represents one of the few taxa that can support an independent origin of domestication in this region. Its tubers were adopted as a source of food and forage when the species was transferred to the Old World in the early 1600s, and are still used today. Despite the cultural and economic importance of this tuber crop species, its origin is debated. Competing hypotheses implicate the occurrence of polyploidization with or without hybridization, and list the annual sunflower H. annuus and five distantly related perennial sunflower species as potential parents. Here, we test these scenarios by skimming the genomes of diverse populations of Jerusalem Artichoke and its putative progenitors. We identify relationships among Helianthus taxa using complete plastomes (151 551 bp), partial mitochondrial genomes (196 853 bp) and 35S (8196 bp) and 5S (514 bp) ribosomal DNA. Our results refute the possibility that Jerusalem Artichoke is of H. annuus ancestry. We provide the first genetic evidence that this species originated recursively from perennial sunflowers of central-eastern North America via hybridization between tetraploid Hairy Sunflower and diploid Sawtooth Sunflower. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Economics of herbaceous bioenergy crops for electricity generation: Implications for greenhouse gas mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khanna, M.; Onal, H.; Dhungana, B.; Wander, M. [University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL (United States)

    2011-04-15

    This paper examines the optimal land allocation for two perennial crops, switchgrass and miscanthus that can be co-fired with coal for electricity generation. Detailed spatial data at county level is used to determine the costs of producing and transporting biomass to power plants in Illinois over a 15-year period. A supply curve for bioenergy is generated at various levels of bioenergy subsidies and the implications of production for farm income and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are analyzed. GHG emissions are estimated using lifecycle analysis and include the soil carbon sequestered by perennial grasses and the carbon emissions displaced by these grasses due to both conversion of land from row crops and co-firing the grasses with coal. We find that the conversion of less than 2% of the cropland to bioenergy crops could produce 5.5% of the electricity generated by coal-fired power plants in Illinois and reduce carbon emissions by 11% over the 15-year period. However, the cost of energy from biomass in Illinois is more than twice as high as that of coal. Costly government subsidies for bioenergy or mandates in the form of Renewable Portfolio Standards would be needed to induce the production and use of bioenergy for electricity generation. Alternatively, a modest price for GHG emissions under a cap-and-trade policy could make bioenergy competitive with coal without imposing a fiscal burden on the government.

  9. Comparison of signaling interactions determining annual and perennial plant growth in response to low temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid eWingler

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature inhibits plant growth despite the fact that considerable rates of photosynthetic activity can be maintained. Instead of lower rates of photosynthesis, active inhibition of cell division and expansion is primarily responsible for reduced growth. This results in sink limitation and enables plants to accumulate carbohydrates that act as compatible solutes or are stored throughout the winter to enable re-growth in spring. Regulation of growth in response to temperature therefore requires coordination with carbon metabolism, e.g. via the signaling metabolite trehalose-6-phosphate. The phytohormones gibberellins (GA and jasmonate (JA play an important role in regulating growth in response to temperature. Growth restriction at low temperature is mainly mediated by DELLA proteins, whose degradation is promoted by GA. For annual plants, it has been shown that the GA/DELLA pathway interacts with JA signaling and C-repeat binding factor (CBF dependent cold acclimation, but these interactions have not been explored in detail for perennials. Growth regulation in response to seasonal factors is, however, particularly important in perennials, especially at high latitudes. In autumn, growth cessation in trees is caused by shortening of the daylength in interaction with phytohormone signaling. In perennial grasses seasonal differences in the sensitivity to GA may enable enhanced growth in spring. This review provides an overview of the signaling interactions that determine plant growth at low temperature and highlights gaps in our knowledge, especially concerning the seasonality of signaling responses in perennial plants.

  10. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  11. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  12. Estimating the energy requirements and CO{sub 2} emissions from production of the perennial grasses miscanthus, switchgrass and reed canary grass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bullard, M.; Metcalfe, P.

    2001-07-01

    The perennial grasses miscanthus, reed canary and swithchgrass have attractions as energy crops in the United Kingdom: all have low demand for fertilizer and pesticide, and are harvested annually. Research on energy ratios and carbon ratios of the grasses is reported. A Microsoft Excel-based model was developed (from an ADAS database) and the input calculations and assumptions are explained. The study demonstrated the attractions of theses grasses as a source of fuel. The results agreed with those from a model developed for the SRC.

  13. European energy crops overview. Country report for Denmark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Statens Planteavlsforsoeg, Tjele Denmark; Statens Jordbrugstekniske Forsoeg, Horsens Denmark

    1996-06-01

    Biomass constitutes a significant contribution to the Danish energy production and is a major tool in increasing the contribution from renewables. So far the focus has been on utilizing existing biomass residues like straw and forest residues and not energy crops. The government has agreed to carry out a demonstration and development programme on energy crops in order to analyse aspects of economy, energy, environment, nature conservancy and comerciality. Several plant species have been investigated for their potential as energy crops and overview information in presented on buchina, sunflower, knotweed, Jerusalem artichoke, false flax, reed Canary grass and corn cockle. More detailed descriptions are given on willow, Miscanthus, energy grain (grain whole crop) and rape which have been most intensively investigated. Rape has been the energy crop grown on the largest scale (40-50,000 ha) but the oil has not been used for energy purposes in Denmark. A research programme on the development of a low input production system for non-food rape is currently conducted. The perennial crops willow and Miscanthus are grown with low input of fertilizer and pesticides and are considered environmentally friendly. Willow-SRC is used as fuel at district heating plants, both commercially and for feasibility studies. Full-scale tests have been carried out on Miscanthus combustion in farm heating plant constructed for straw firing, and on co-combustion with coal at power stations. Grain whole crop (energy grain) has been combusted at a district heating plant, a CHP-plant and a power station. Co-combustion with coal was carried out at a CFB-boiler. Concerning ethanol based on energy crops, only a few activities are in progress. (EG) 89 refs.

  14. Socio-economic impacts of energy crops for heat generation in Northern Greece

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panoutsou, Calliope

    2007-01-01

    Bioenergy is considered to be an attractive option mainly due to driving forces of an environmental nature (e.g. climate change and sustainability issues). This is particularly the case for energy crops, which show higher productivity per land unit than their conventional counterparts. In addition, by comparison, such crops are more homogeneous in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics than residual resources that are often described as the biomass resource of the future. However, despite the long-term research and the considerable efforts to promote them, implementation is still rather slow across Europe. In this paper, two perennial energy crops, cardoon and giant reed, are evaluated in Rodopi, northern Greece, as alternative land use, through comparative financial appraisal with the main conventional crops. Based on the output of this analysis, the breakeven for the two energy crops is defined and an economic and socio-economic evaluation of a biomass district heating system is conducted. Results prove that energy crops can be attractive alternatives if they are properly integrated into existing agricultural activities and complement the current cropping options. As such, they provide raw material for local heat applications, thus resulting in increased income for the region and an increase in the number of jobs. (author)

  15. Archaeobotanical reconstructions of field habitats and crops: the grange in Pomorzany near Kutno, 18th/19th c.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koszałka Joanna

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of research of plant macrofossils from the grain deposit deriving from the 18th/19th centuries. The analysed material included 24760 diaspores representing 73 taxa. The majority were cultivated cereal crop species, and there was also abundance of accompanying segetal weed species. About 95% of the gathered crop material was Secale cereale. Another important crop was Hordeum vulgare and there were also some remains of Avena sativa, Triticum aestivum, Fagopyrum esculentum. Cannabis sativa and Linum usitatissimum were found as well. Weeds competing with these crops were, among others, the following species: Agrostemma githago, Raphanus raphanistrum, Apera spica-venti, Bromus secalinus, Centaurea cyanus, Spergula arvensis, Thlaspi arvense, Viola arvensis/tricolor, Fallopia convolvulus, Polygonum persicaria, Mentha arvensis, Anthemis arvensis, Papaver rhoeas, Rumex acetosella, Scleranthus annuus, Aphanes arvensis, Setaria pumila, Setaria viridis/verticilata. Extremely large presence of wild plant diaspores in the material allowed conducting economic and environmental interpretations. Reconstruction methods applied, used primarily in the case of macroremains from granaries, were fully applicable to the analysed plant residues. Weed species composition in the analysed material showed that they were mostly typical for the main winter crop. Some amount of species typical for other habitats were also found and they probably came from the near-by rye field. The presence of perennial diaspores indicated that the field was probably set aside

  16. Estimated Perennial Streams of Idaho and Related Geospatial Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Alan; Skinner, Kenneth D.

    2009-01-01

    The perennial or intermittent status of a stream has bearing on many regulatory requirements. Because of changing technologies over time, cartographic representation of perennial/intermittent status of streams on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps is not always accurate and (or) consistent from one map sheet to another. Idaho Administrative Code defines an intermittent stream as one having a 7-day, 2-year low flow (7Q2) less than 0.1 cubic feet per second. To establish consistency with the Idaho Administrative Code, the USGS developed regional regression equations for Idaho streams for several low-flow statistics, including 7Q2. Using these regression equations, the 7Q2 streamflow may be estimated for naturally flowing streams anywhere in Idaho to help determine perennial/intermittent status of streams. Using these equations in conjunction with a Geographic Information System (GIS) technique known as weighted flow accumulation allows for an automated and continuous estimation of 7Q2 streamflow at all points along a stream, which in turn can be used to determine if a stream is intermittent or perennial according to the Idaho Administrative Code operational definition. The selected regression equations were applied to create continuous grids of 7Q2 estimates for the eight low-flow regression regions of Idaho. By applying the 0.1 ft3/s criterion, the perennial streams have been estimated in each low-flow region. Uncertainty in the estimates is shown by identifying a 'transitional' zone, corresponding to flow estimates of 0.1 ft3/s plus and minus one standard error. Considerable additional uncertainty exists in the model of perennial streams presented in this report. The regression models provide overall estimates based on general trends within each regression region. These models do not include local factors such as a large spring or a losing reach that may greatly affect flows at any given point. Site-specific flow data, assuming a sufficient period of

  17. Some Important Diseases of Tree Fruits - Diseases of Vegetable Crops - Diseases of Grapes - Diseases of Tree Nuts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Donald H.; And Others

    This agriculture extension service publication from Pennsylvania State University consists of four sections on plant disease recognition and control. The titles of these four sections are: (1) Some Important Diseases of Tree Fruits; (2) Diseases of Vegetable Crops; (3) Diseases of Crops; and (4) Diseases of Tree Nuts. The first section discusses…

  18. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical Framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Dr Jeff A [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Brandt, Craig C [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    A global energy crop productivity model that provides geospatially explicit quantitative details on biomass potential and factors affecting sustainability would be useful, but does not exist now. This study describes a modeling platform capable of meeting many challenges associated with global-scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed an analytical framework for bioenergy crops consisting of six major components: (i) standardized natural resources datasets, (ii) global field-trial data and crop management practices, (iii) simulation units and management scenarios, (iv) model calibration and validation, (v) high-performance computing (HPC) simulation, and (vi) simulation output processing and analysis. The HPC-Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (HPC-EPIC) model simulated a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), estimating feedstock production potentials and effects across the globe. This modeling platform can assess soil C sequestration, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nonpoint source pollution (e.g., nutrient and pesticide loss), and energy exchange with the atmosphere. It can be expanded to include additional bioenergy crops (e.g., miscanthus, energy cane, and agave) and food crops under different management scenarios. The platform and switchgrass field-trial dataset are available to support global analysis of biomass feedstock production potential and corresponding metrics of sustainability.

  19. Analysis of DNA methylation of perennial ryegrass under drought using the methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xiao-Mei; Tao, Xiang; Wang, Yan; Ma, Dong-Wei; Li, Dan; Yang, Hong; Ma, Xin-Rong

    2014-12-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), an excellent grass for forage and turf, is widespread in temperate regions. Drought is an important factor that limits its growth, distribution, and yield. DNA methylation affects gene expression and plays an important role in adaptation to adverse environments. In this study, the DNA methylation changes in perennial ryegrass under drought stress were assessed using methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP). After 15 days of drought stress treatment, the plant height was less than half of the control, and the leaves were smaller and darker. Genome-wide, a total of 652 CCGG sites were detected by MSAP. The total methylation level was 57.67 and 47.39 % in the control and drought treatment, respectively, indicating a decrease of 10.28 % due to drought exposure. Fifteen differentially displayed DNA fragments in MSAP profiles were cloned for sequencing analysis. The results showed that most of the genes involved in stress responses. The relative expression levels revealed that three demethylated fragments were up-regulated. The expression of a predicted retrotransposon increased significantly, changing from hypermethylation to non-methylation. Although the extent of methylation in two other genes decreased, the sites of methylation remained, and the expression increased only slightly. All of these results suggested that drought stress decreased the total DNA methylation level in perennial ryegrass and demethylation up-regulated related gene expressions and that the extent of methylation was negatively correlated with expression. Overall, the induced epigenetic changes in genome probably are an important regulatory mechanism for acclimating perennial ryegrass to drought and possibly other environmental stresses.

  20. Native herbaceous perennials as ornamentals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Bjarne; Ørgaard, Marian

    2013-01-01

    Gardening with native perennials is a way to bring nature closer to urban citizens and bring up reflections on nature in a busy world. During three seasons of trialing Salvia pratensis, Dianthus deltoides, Campanula trachelium, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria, Saxifraga granulata, Plantago media and P...

  1. Biotechnological advancement in genetic improvement of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-07-01

    With the advent of molecular biotechnology, plant genetic engineering techniques have opened an avenue for the genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. Vegetable crop productivity and quality are seriously affected by various biotic and abiotic stresses which destabilize rural economies in many countries. Moreover, absence of proper post-harvest storage and processing facilities leads to qualitative and quantitative losses. In the past four decades, conventional breeding has significantly contributed to the improvement of vegetable yields, quality, post-harvest life, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, there are many constraints in conventional breeding, which can only be overcome by advancements made in modern biology. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is an important vegetable crop, of the family Brassicaceae; however, various biotic and abiotic stresses cause enormous crop yield losses during the commercial cultivation of broccoli. Thus, genetic engineering can be used as a tool to add specific characteristics to existing cultivars. However, a pre-requisite for transferring genes into plants is the availability of efficient regeneration and transformation techniques. Recent advances in plant genetic engineering provide an opportunity to improve broccoli in many aspects. The goal of this review is to summarize genetic transformation studies on broccoli to draw the attention of researchers and scientists for its further genetic advancement.

  2. Proteomics of Important Food Crops in the Asia Oceania Region: Current Status and Future Perspectives

    KAUST Repository

    Chakraborty, Subhra; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini; Yang, Pingfang; Woo, Sun-Hee; Chin, Chiew Foan; Gehring, Christoph A; Haynes, Paul A.; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2015-01-01

    In the rapidly growing economies of Asia and Oceania, food security has become a primary concern. With the rising population, growing more food at affordable prices is becoming even more important. In addition, the predicted climate change will lead to drastic changes in global surface temperature and changes in rainfall patterns that in turn would pose a serious threat to plant vegetation worldwide. As a result, understanding how plants will survive in a changing climate will be increasingly important. Such challenges require integrated approaches to increase agricultural production and cope with environmental threats. Proteomics can play a role in unravel the underlying mechanisms for food production to address the growing demand for food. In this review, the current status of food crop proteomics is discussed, especially in regards to the Asia and Oceania regions. Furthermore, the future perspective in relation to proteomic techniques for the important food crops is highlighted.

  3. Proteomics of Important Food Crops in the Asia Oceania Region: Current Status and Future Perspectives

    KAUST Repository

    Chakraborty, Subhra

    2015-06-02

    In the rapidly growing economies of Asia and Oceania, food security has become a primary concern. With the rising population, growing more food at affordable prices is becoming even more important. In addition, the predicted climate change will lead to drastic changes in global surface temperature and changes in rainfall patterns that in turn would pose a serious threat to plant vegetation worldwide. As a result, understanding how plants will survive in a changing climate will be increasingly important. Such challenges require integrated approaches to increase agricultural production and cope with environmental threats. Proteomics can play a role in unravel the underlying mechanisms for food production to address the growing demand for food. In this review, the current status of food crop proteomics is discussed, especially in regards to the Asia and Oceania regions. Furthermore, the future perspective in relation to proteomic techniques for the important food crops is highlighted.

  4. Annual and perennial alleyway cover crops vary in their effects on Pratylenchus penetrans in Pacific Northwest red raspberry (Rubus idaeus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crop use is not common in established red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) fields in the Pacific Northwest. Raspberry growers are concerned about resource competition between the cover crop and raspberry crop, as well as increasing population densities of the plant-parasitic nematode Pratylenchus pene...

  5. Ambient and elevated carbon dioxide on growth, physiological and nutrient uptake parameters of perennial leguminous cover crops under low light intensities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adaptability and optimum growth of cover crops in plantation crops is affected by the inherent nature of the cover crop species and the light intensity at canopy levels. Globally concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are increasing and this creates higher photosynthesis and nutrient demand by crops as l...

  6. Towards in vitro fertilization, gametosomatic cybridization and DNA transfer in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, van der H.M.

    1994-01-01

    In this thesis, research towards invitro fertilization, gametosomatic cybridization andDNAtransfer in perennial ryegrass ( Loliumperenne L.), the most important forage

  7. Landscape and host plant effects on two important omnivorous arthropod taxa in field crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    The economically important brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), is a native pest of many crops in southeastern USA and insecticide applications are the prevailing method of population suppression. To elucidate biological control of E. servus populations, we investigated two egg predators’ (red ...

  8. Stream Health Sensitivity to Landscape Changes due to Bioenergy Crops Expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejadhashemi, A.; Einheuser, M. D.; Woznicki, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Global demand for bioenergy has increased due to uncertainty in oil markets, environmental concerns, and expected increases in energy consumption worldwide. To develop a sustainable biofuel production strategy, the adverse environmental impacts of bioenergy crops expansion should be understood. To study the impact of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health, the adaptive neural-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) was used to predict macroinvertebrate and fish stream health measures. The Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), Family Index of Biological Integrity (Family IBI), and Number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa (EPT taxa) were used as macroinvertebrate measures, while the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) was used for fish. A high-resolution biophysical model built using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to obtain water quantity and quality variables for input into the ANFIS stream health predictive models. Twenty unique crop rotations were developed to examine impacts of bioenergy crops expansion on stream health in the Saginaw Bay basin. Traditional intensive row crops generated more pollution than current landuse conditions, while second-generation biofuel crops associated with less intensive agricultural activities resulted in water quality improvement. All three macroinvertebrate measures were negatively impacted during intensive row crop productions but improvement was predicted when producing perennial crops. However, the expansion of native grass, switchgrass, and miscanthus production resulted in reduced IBI relative to first generation row crops. This study demonstrates that ecosystem complexity requires examination of multiple stream health measures to avoid potential adverse impacts of landuse change on stream health.

  9. Effect of seed rate and row spacing in seed production of Festulolium

    OpenAIRE

    Deleuran, L.C.; Gislum, R.; Boelt, B.

    2010-01-01

    Establishment methods have proven to be of major importance for grass seed production. The objective of this research was to test the effect of different sowing techniques on plant establishment and the subsequent seed yield. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is used as the model grass due to its large importance in Danish agriculture. In a three-year trial six different methods of under-sowing of perennial ryegrass in a spring barley cover crop were employed. Perennial ryegrass was e...

  10. Control of perennial weeds by mechanical methods and anaerobic soil disinfection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huiting, H.F.; Bleeker, P.O.; Riemens, M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Perennial weeds are difficult to control and ask for a specific approach. During the most recent years it has even become a great challenge to control these weeds in conventional farming systems, although in comparison effective perennial weed control in organic farming systems remains more

  11. Energy crops as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olesen, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    The current Danish energy plan stipulates a production of 5 PI from energy crops in 2010. This may be attained through growing of either annual (e.g., cereal) or perennial energy crops (e.g., willow or Miscanthus). Existing Danish data and the IPCC methodology was used to calculate nitrous oxide emissions from and carbon sequestration in soils cropped with an annual energy crop (triticale) or a perennial energy crop (Miscanthus). The calculations for Miscanthus were performed separately for harvest in November or April, since the harvest time affects both yields and emissions. The estimates for Miscanthus were based on a 20-year duration of the cultivation period. The energy use for growing the crops was included in the energy budgets, as was the reduction in CO 2 emission that will result from substitution of fossil fuel (natural gas). The calculations were performed for both a coarse sandy soil and a loamy sand. The results were compared with current (reference) practice for growing cereals. There were only minor differences in production data and emissions between the two soil types. The area required to produce 5 PI was smallest for Miscanthus harvested in November (c. 25,000 ha), and about equal for triticale and Miscanthus harvested in April (c. 32,000 ha). The reduction in nitrous oxide emissions compared with cereal production was smallest for triticale (20 kt CO 2 equivalents /eq] yr -1 ) and about equal for Miscanthus at the two harvest times (30-36 kt CO 2 eq yr -1 ). Growing Miscanthus resulted in a carbon sequestration, with the highest rates (100 kt CO 2 eq yr -1 ) for Miscanthus harvested in April. The energy use for production of triticale was slightly lower than for normal cereal growing, whereas growing Miscanthus for harvest in April resulted in a smaller energy use which corresponded to an emission reduction of 20 kt CO 2 yr -1 . The substitution of fossil fuel corresponded to 285 kt CO 2 yr -1 . Summing all items, growing 5 PI worth of

  12. Agricultural damages and losses from ARkStorm scenario flooding in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wein, Anne; David Mitchell,; Peters, Jeff; John Rowden,; Johnny Tran,; Alessandra Corsi,; Dinitz, Laura B.

    2016-01-01

    Scientists designed the ARkStorm scenario to challenge the preparedness of California communities for widespread flooding with a historical precedence and increased likelihood under climate change. California is an important provider of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other agricultural products to the nation. This study analyzes the agricultural damages and losses pertaining to annual crops, perennial crops, and livestock in California exposed to ARkStorm flooding. Statewide, flood damage is incurred on approximately 23% of annual crop acreage, 5% of perennial crop acreage, and 5% of livestock, e.g., dairy, feedlot, and poultry, acreage. The sum of field repair costs, forgone income, and product replacement costs span $3.7 and $7.1 billion (2009) for a range of inundation durations. Perennial crop loss estimates dominate, and the vulnerability of orchards and vineyards has likely increased with recent expansion. Crop reestablishment delays from levee repair and dewatering more than double annual crop losses in the delta islands, assuming the fragile system does not remain permanently flooded. The exposure of almost 200,000 dairy cows to ARkStorm flooding poses livestock evacuation challenges. Read More: http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29NH.1527-6996.0000174

  13. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a major allogamous forage species, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diekmann, Kerstin; Hodkinson, Trevor R; Wolfe, Kenneth H; van den Bekerom, Rob; Dix, Philip J; Barth, Susanne

    2009-06-01

    Lolium perenne L. (perennial ryegrass) is globally one of the most important forage and grassland crops. We sequenced the chloroplast (cp) genome of Lolium perenne cultivar Cashel. The L. perenne cp genome is 135 282 bp with a typical quadripartite structure. It contains genes for 76 unique proteins, 30 tRNAs and four rRNAs. As in other grasses, the genes accD, ycf1 and ycf2 are absent. The genome is of average size within its subfamily Pooideae and of medium size within the Poaceae. Genome size differences are mainly due to length variations in non-coding regions. However, considerable length differences of 1-27 codons in comparison of L. perenne to other Poaceae and 1-68 codons among all Poaceae were also detected. Within the cp genome of this outcrossing cultivar, 10 insertion/deletion polymorphisms and 40 single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected. Two of the polymorphisms involve tiny inversions within hairpin structures. By comparing the genome sequence with RT-PCR products of transcripts for 33 genes, 31 mRNA editing sites were identified, five of them unique to Lolium. The cp genome sequence of L. perenne is available under Accession number AM777385 at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, National Center for Biotechnology Information and DNA DataBank of Japan.

  14. Modeling pollinator community response to contrasting bioenergy scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley B Bennett

    Full Text Available In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at increasing sources of renewable energy are advancing bioenergy production, especially in the Midwest region, where agricultural landscapes dominate. While policy directives are focused on renewable fuel production, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be impacted by the land-use changes required to meet production targets. Using data from field observations, we developed empirical models for predicting abundance, diversity, and community composition of flower-visiting bees based on land cover. We used these models to explore how bees might respond under two contrasting bioenergy scenarios: annual bioenergy crop production and perennial grassland bioenergy production. In the two scenarios, 600,000 ha of marginal annual crop land or marginal grassland were converted to perennial grassland or annual row crop bioenergy production, respectively. Model projections indicate that expansion of annual bioenergy crop production at this scale will reduce bee abundance by 0 to 71%, and bee diversity by 0 to 28%, depending on location. In contrast, converting annual crops on marginal soil to perennial grasslands could increase bee abundance from 0 to 600% and increase bee diversity between 0 and 53%. Our analysis of bee community composition suggested a similar pattern, with bee communities becoming less diverse under annual bioenergy crop production, whereas bee composition transitioned towards a more diverse community dominated by wild bees under perennial bioenergy crop production. Models, like those employed here, suggest that bioenergy policies have important consequences for pollinator conservation.

  15. Testing water-soluble carbohydrate QTL effects in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) by marker selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turner, L.B.; Farrell, M.; Humphreys, M.O.; Dolstra, O.

    2010-01-01

    Water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) are an important factor determining the nutritional value of grass forage and development of genetic markers for selection of WSC traits in perennial ryegrass would benefit future breeding programmes. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for WSC have been published for an

  16. Rainfed intensive crop systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed.......This chapter focuses on the importance of intensive cropping systems in contributing to the world supply of food and feed. The impact of climate change on intensive crop production systems is also discussed....

  17. Straw and energy crops- analysis of economy, energy and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsby, M.

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of the biomass agreement of 14 June 1993 was to increase the use of biomass fuels in the Danish power plants to 1.2 million tons straw and 200 000 wood chips. Contribution from straw combustion should reach 25 PJ in year 2000. However biomass cultivation can endanger the governmental policy of pesticide and nitrogen reduction in agriculture. In the worst harvest years straw quantity can be reduced to 70 % of the normal level, while in good years there would occur a 3-4 fold excess of straw. Supply depends in a decisive degree on the offered price as the indirect cost can vary much (wet straw, delayed sawing, lost fertilizer value etc.). Potential for energy crops can be based on ca 300 000 ha present fallow agricultural areas. Cost is higher than that for straw, the most probable plants are elephant grass, willow, rape, sugar beets, winter cereals. Cost is lower for perennial plants, but at least 10-12 years are necessary for such crops to become profitable. Generally the biofuel crops are more expensive than crops for immediate combustion. Expenses for energy crops will decrease with time per ton dry matter, but ground rent for soils previously fallow has to be taken into account. A reduced nitrogen fertilization will reduce the economic profits quite essentially due to smaller harvests. Pesticide consumption will not have to grow as straw and elephant grass do not require any larger quantities (unless very large areas of one crop are cultivated).(EG) 92 refs

  18. Adaptive management of perennial pepperweed for endangered specias and tidal marsh recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial pepperweed has invaded a wide range of habitat types in the far west. In the San Francisco Estuary, dense infestations have impacted sensitive tidal wetlands and compromised endangered species recovery efforts. An adaptive management effort to reduce perennial pepperweed was initiated by...

  19. [Biofuels, food security and transgenic crops].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta, Orlando; Chaparro-Giraldo, Alejandro

    2009-01-01

    Soaring global food prices are threatening to push more poor people back below the poverty line; this will probably become aggravated by the serious challenge that increasing population and climate changes are posing for food security. There is growing evidence that human activities involving fossil fuel consumption and land use are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently changing the climate worldwide. The finite nature of fossil fuel reserves is causing concern about energy security and there is a growing interest in the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. There is growing concern regarding the fact that biofuels are currently produced from food crops, thereby leading to an undesirable competition for their use as food and feed. Nevertheless, biofuels can be produced from other feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose from perennial grasses, forestry and vegetable waste. Biofuel energy content should not be exceeded by that of the fossil fuel invested in its production to ensure that it is energetically sustainable; however, biofuels must also be economically competitive and environmentally acceptable. Climate change and biofuels are challenging FAO efforts aimed at eradicating hunger worldwide by the next decade. Given that current crops used in biofuel production have not been domesticated for this purpose, transgenic technology can offer an enormous contribution towards improving biofuel crops' environmental and economic performance. The present paper critically presents some relevant relationships between biofuels, food security and transgenic plant technology.

  20. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in

  1. Cold hardiness research on agricultural and horticultural crops in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. LINDÉN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper represents an overview of cold hardiness research conducted on agricultural and horticultural crops, as well as on amenity plants in Finland. Inadequate freezing tolerance and/or winter hardiness often prevents introduction of new species and cultivars to Finland. Field observations on winter hardiness and more recently the results from laboratory freezing tests, have assisted breeders to select hardy genotypes. Research approaches for agricultural crops have evolved from observations on winter and frost damage to studies on molecular mechanisms of cold acclimation and freezing injury. The results of experiments on survival of winter cereals, grasses and clovers and frost tolerance of potato and turnip rape are discussed. The studies conducted on horticultural crops, including apple, strawberry, raspberry, currants, blueberry, sea buckthorn, perennial herbs as well as on ornamental trees and shrubs have included field evaluations of cultivars, or selections for winter hardiness, and studies on the effects of cultural management practices on winter survival. During the last decade detailed studies including controlled freezing tests have provided tools to assist in explanation of the underlying mechanisms of cold hardiness also in horticultural plants. ;

  2. Energy embodiment in Brazilian agriculture: an overview of 23 crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Paulo Soto Veiga

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The amount of energy required to produce a commodity or to supply a service varies from one production system to another and consequently giving rise to differing levels of environmental efficiency. Moreover, since energy prices have been continuously increasing over time, this energy amount may be a factor that has economic worth. Biomass production has a variety of end-products such as food, energy, and fiber; thus, taking into account the similarity in end-product of different crops (e.g.: sunflower, peanuts, or soybean for oil it is possible to evaluate which crops require less energy per functional unit, such as starch, oil, and protein. This information can be used in decision-making about policies for food safety or bioenergy. In this study, 23 crops were evaluated allowing for a comparison in terms of energy embodied per functional unit. Crops were grouped as follows: starch, oil, horticultural, perennial and fiber, to provide for a deeper analysis of alternatives for the groups, and subsidize further studies comparing conventional and alternative production systems such as organic or genetically modified organisms, in terms of energy. The best energy balance observed was whole sugarcane (juice, bagasse and straw with a surplus of 268 GJ ha−1 yr−1; palm shows the highest energy return on investment with a ratio of approximately 30:1. For carbohydrates and protein production, cassava and soybean, respectively, emerged as the crops offering the greatest energy savings in the production of these functional foods.

  3. Assessment of energy crops alternative to maize for biogas production in the Greater Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Stilmant, Didier; Schmit, Thomas; Leclech, Nathael; Ruelle, Luc; Gennen, Jerome; von Francken-Welz, Herbert; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Weyland, Marc; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Global Simulation of Bioenergy Crop Productivity: Analytical framework and Case Study for Switchgrass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Nichols, Jeff A. {Cyber Sciences} [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Wang, Dali [ORNL; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL; Kline, Keith L [ORNL; Wei, Yaxing [ORNL; Singh, Nagendra [ORNL; Kang, Shujiang [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary global assessments of the deployment potential and sustainability aspects of biofuel crops lack quantitative details. This paper describes an analytical framework capable of meeting the challenges associated with global scale agro-ecosystem modeling. We designed a modeling platform for bioenergy crops, consisting of five major components: (i) standardized global natural resources and management data sets, (ii) global simulation unit and management scenarios, (iii) model calibration and validation, (iv) high-performance computing (HPC) modeling, and (v) simulation output processing and analysis. A case study with the HPC- Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (HPC-EPIC) to simulate a perennial bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and global biomass feedstock analysis on grassland demonstrates the application of this platform. The results illustrate biomass feedstock variability of switchgrass and provide insights on how the modeling platform can be expanded to better assess sustainable production criteria and other biomass crops. Feedstock potentials on global grasslands and within different countries are also shown. Future efforts involve developing databases of productivity, implementing global simulations for other bioenergy crops (e.g. miscanthus, energycane and agave), and assessing environmental impacts under various management regimes. We anticipated this platform will provide an exemplary tool and assessment data for international communities to conduct global analysis of biofuel biomass feedstocks and sustainability.

  5. Perennial grasses as the ecological link for preserving the fertility of the peat soils polluted by radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podolyak, A.G.; Saraseko, E.G.; Arastovich, T.V.; Suzko, O.V.; Tagaj, S.A.; Lasko, T.V.; Goloveshkin, V.V.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of degradation of peat soils polluted with 137Cs and 90Sr and cultivation of the crop production on them is considered. Distribution of grasslands and pastures on polluted peat soils by the regions of the Republic of Belarus is presented. Characteristics of the peat soils are shown. Coefficients of migration of radionuclides in perennial grasses' hay depending on mobile potassium availability (for 137Cs) and soil reaction pHkci (for 90sr) are evaluated. Inadequacy of the hay, harvested on polluted territories, to the main quality characteristics is presented and analyzed. Crop mixtures recommended for grasslands and pastures reseeding on polluted territories are suggested. The list of cultivars suitable for the conditions of over wetting is offered. It is recommended to use shallow peat soils as grasslands. Permanent cereal grasses restore organic matter of these soils and provide economic efficiency of agricultural use. According the results of the research the transfer factors of 137Cs and 90Sr to plants are relatively low. This fact is explained by the time that has passed since the accident on Chernobyl nuclear power plant and by the variations of mobile potassium and exchangeable acidity in peat soils

  6. Cumulative drought and land-use impacts on perennial vegetation across a North American dryland region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Long, A. Lexine; Wallace, Cynthia; Webb, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Question The decline and loss of perennial vegetation in dryland ecosystems due to global change pressures can alter ecosystem properties and initiate land degradation processes. We tracked changes of perennial vegetation using remote sensing to address the question of how prolonged drought and land-use intensification have affected perennial vegetation cover across a desert region in the early 21st century? Location Mojave Desert, southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, USA. Methods We coupled the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Enhanced Vegetation Index (MODIS-EVI) with ground-based measurements of perennial vegetation cover taken in about 2000 and about 2010. Using the difference between these years, we determined perennial vegetation changes in the early 21st century and related these shifts to climate, soil and landscape properties, and patterns of land use. Results We found a good fit between MODIS-EVI and perennial vegetation cover (2000: R2 = 0.83 and 2010: R2 = 0.74). The southwestern, far southeastern and central Mojave Desert had large declines in perennial vegetation cover in the early 21st century, while the northeastern and southeastern portions of the desert had increases. These changes were explained by 10-yr precipitation anomalies, particularly in the cool season and during extreme dry or wet years. Areas heavily impacted by visitor use or wildfire lost perennial vegetation cover, and vegetation in protected areas increased to a greater degree than in unprotected areas. Conclusions We find that we can extrapolate previously documented declines of perennial plant cover to an entire desert, and demonstrate that prolonged water shortages coupled with land-use intensification create identifiable patterns of vegetation change in dryland regions.

  7. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) loci mapping in the genome of perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pivorienė, O; Pašakinskienė, I; Brazauskas, G

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify and characterize new ISSR markers and their loci in the genome of perennial ryegrass. A subsample of the VrnA F2 mapping family of perennial ryegrass comprising 92 individuals was used to develop a linkage map including inter-simple sequence repeat markers...... demonstrated a 70% similarity to the Hordeum vulgare germin gene GerA. Inter-SSR mapping will provide useful information for gene targeting, quantitative trait loci mapping and marker-assisted selection in perennial ryegrass....

  8. Importance of NDF digestibility of whole crop maize silage for dry matter intake and milk production in dairy cows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krämer, Monika; Lund, Peter; Weisbjerg, Martin Riis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of maize silage as a feed component in cattle rations and for biogas production has substantially increased. Whole crop maize silage is a forage with a high starch concentration, but also the cell wall fraction, commonly analysed as neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) is a major energ...... silage aNDFom digestibility improved daily milk yield with 82 g (P = 0.04) and daily weight gain with 12 g (P = 0.03). Therefore, aNDFom digestibility is an important trait in maize used as whole crop silage for dairy cows.......The importance of maize silage as a feed component in cattle rations and for biogas production has substantially increased. Whole crop maize silage is a forage with a high starch concentration, but also the cell wall fraction, commonly analysed as neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) is a major energy...... source for use in ruminant nutrition. Even though ruminants require forage fibre to maintain rumen function and maximize productivity, excess fibre limits feed intake due to its contribution to physical fill in the rumen. As feed intake is the most important factor for milk production, both a...

  9. A field study of the uptake of 35S and 14C into crops characteristic of the UK diet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kluczewski, S.M.; Bell, J.N.B.; Nair, S.

    1986-02-01

    The uptake of 35 S and 14 C into crops characteristic of the UK diet was studied. Four common types of green vegetable, six common types of root vegetable and perennial ryegrass were grown in a garden plot in the environs of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station and the 35 S and 14 C contents of the crops were measured. Also measured were the corresponding air concentrations over the plot averaged over a range of time periods between sowing and harvesting. The results were analysed in terms of air to crop transfer factors for 35 S and 14 C and the implications of these for dose calculations were assessed for both collective dose and for a hypothetical critical group consuming a range of foods produced in situ. (author)

  10. Perennial Pepperweed Patches - San Francisco Estuary [ds295

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This layer contains polygon data for the perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) database. This database represents distribution data collected within the areas...

  11. Soil water status under perennial and annual pastures on an acid duplex soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heng, L.K.; White, R.E.; Chen, D.

    2000-01-01

    A comprehensive field study of soil water balance, nitrogen (N) cycling, pasture management and animal production was carried out on an acid duplex soil at Book Book near Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales. The experiment, carried out over a 3-year period, tested the hypothesis that sown perennial grass pastures improve the sustainability of a grazing system through better use of water and N. The treatments were: annual pastures without lime (AP-), annual pastures with lime (AP+), perennial pastures without lime (PP-) and perennial pastures with lime (PP+). Soil water measurement was made using a neutron probe on one set of the treatments comprising four adjacent paddocks. Over three winter and spring periods, the results showed that perennial grass pastures, especially PP+, consistently extracted about 40 mm more soil water each year than did the annual grass pastures. As a result, surface runoff, sub-surface flow and deep drainage (percolation below 180 cm depth) were about 40 mm less from the perennial pastures. The soil water status of the four pasture treatments was simulated reasonably well using a simple soil water model. Together with the long-term simulation of deep drainage, using past meteorological records, it is shown that proper management of perennial pastures can reduce recharge to groundwater and make pastoral systems more sustainable in the high rainfall zone. However, to completely reduce recharge, more-deeply rooted plants or trees are needed. (author)

  12. Evaporite deposition in a shallow perennial lake, Qaidam basin, western China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schubel, K.A.; Lowenstein, T.K. (SUNY, Binghampton, NY (United States)); Spencer, R.J. (Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)); Pengxi, Z. (Institute of Salt Lakes, Xining (China))

    1991-03-01

    Evaporites accumulate in ephemeral saline-pans, shallow perennial lakes or lagoons, and deep perennial systems. Continuous brine trench exposures of Holocene evaporites from the Qaidam basin provide criteria for the recognition of shallow perennial lake sediments. Based on Landsat photographs, lateral extent of beds (at least 7 km), and sequence thicknesses (maximum 2.5 m), the paleolake is interpreted to have been less than 2.5 m deep and at least 120 km{sup 2} in area. Sediments consist of laminated siliciclastic mud overlain by mud-halite couplets (mm- to cm-scale layers), which represent one vertical shallowing- and concentrating-upwards sequence. The basal laminite marks the onset of deposition in this shallow perennial paleolake. Syndepositional halite textures and fabrics in the overlying mud-halite couplets include cumulates, rafts, and chevrons, draped by mud laminae, and halite layers truncated by horizontal dissolution surfaces (increasing in frequency upwards). Paleolake brines, determined from fluid inclusion melting temperatures, are Na-Mg-Cl-rich and evolve from 0.84 m Mg{sup 2} to 1.52 m Mg{sup 2+} (near the surface). Combinations of the following criteria may be used for the recognition of shallow, nonstratified, perennial lake sediments: lateral continuity of layers; muds undisrupted by subaerial exposure; vertical bottom-growth of halite; halite layers conformably overlain by mud; halite layers truncated by nonuniformly spaced horizontal dissolution surfaces; erosional scours and channels filled with cross-laminated gypsum, halite, and siliciclastic sand and mud; and salinity fluctuations over small stratigraphic intervals within an overall concentrating-upwards sequence.

  13. Biotechnological applications in in vitro plant regeneration studies of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), an important vegetable crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Pankaj; Srivastava, Dinesh Kumar

    2016-04-01

    Biotechnology holds promise for genetic improvement of important vegetable crops. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is an important vegetable crop of the family Brassicaceae. However, various biotic and abiotic stresses cause enormous crop yield losses during commercial cultivation of broccoli. Establishment of a reliable, reproducible and efficient in vitro plant regeneration system with cell and tissue culture is a vital prerequisite for biotechnological application of crop improvement programme. An in vitro plant regeneration technique refers to culturing, cell division, cell multiplication, de-differentiation and differentiation of cells, protoplasts, tissues and organs on defined liquid/solid medium under aseptic and controlled environment. Recent progress in the field of plant tissue culture has made this area one of the most dynamic and promising in experimental biology. There are many published reports on in vitro plant regeneration studies in broccoli including direct organogenesis, indirect organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. This review summarizes those plant regeneration studies in broccoli that could be helpful in drawing the attention of the researchers and scientists to work on it to produce healthy, biotic and abiotic stress resistant plant material and to carry out genetic transformation studies for the production of transgenic plants.

  14. Support vector machine-based open crop model (SBOCM: Case of rice production in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying-xue Su

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Existing crop models produce unsatisfactory simulation results and are operationally complicated. The present study, however, demonstrated the unique advantages of statistical crop models for large-scale simulation. Using rice as the research crop, a support vector machine-based open crop model (SBOCM was developed by integrating developmental stage and yield prediction models. Basic geographical information obtained by surface weather observation stations in China and the 1:1000000 soil database published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences were used. Based on the principle of scale compatibility of modeling data, an open reading frame was designed for the dynamic daily input of meteorological data and output of rice development and yield records. This was used to generate rice developmental stage and yield prediction models, which were integrated into the SBOCM system. The parameters, methods, error resources, and other factors were analyzed. Although not a crop physiology simulation model, the proposed SBOCM can be used for perennial simulation and one-year rice predictions within certain scale ranges. It is convenient for data acquisition, regionally applicable, parametrically simple, and effective for multi-scale factor integration. It has the potential for future integration with extensive social and economic factors to improve the prediction accuracy and practicability.

  15. Agricultural terminology in Russian language on the Institute of field and vegetable crops example

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savin Dragana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary science demands that scientists are following domestic and foreign scientific and technical achievements through conference attendances and scientific and professional literature. Agricultural science is based on practical data, field experiments, but nevertheless it is essential to be up to date with the work of foreign researchers, scientific centers and institutions through their publications. The aim of this paper was to present a part of the agricultural lexicon (with the accent on the plant species names, as well as the general scientific and organizational terms with the equivalents in Russian - Serbian and Serbian - Russian, which is of the great importance in activities of Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, presented through perennial practices of translation. Those terms are recognized as important and frequent, without wishing to go into professional divisions in agriculture as science. This paper is dedicated to the scientists who posses basic linguistic knowledge of Russian language and are starting to use Russian scientific and professional literature in agriculture, as well as students of Russian language for the purpose of establishing and widening linguistic fund.

  16. Goals and hurdles for a successful implementation of genomic selection in breeding programme for selected annual and perennial crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, Elisabeth; de Koning, Dirk Jan

    Genomic Selection is an important topic in quantitative genetics and breeding. Not only does it allow the full use of current molecular genetic technologies, it stimulates also the development of new methods and models. Genomic selection, if fully implemented in commercial farming, should have a major impact on the productivity of various agricultural systems. But suggested approaches need to be applicable in commercial breeding populations. Many of the published research studies focus on methodologies. We conclude from the reviewed publications, that a stronger focus on strategies for the implementation of genomic selection in advanced breeding lines, introduction of new varieties, hybrids or multi-line crosses is needed. Efforts to find solutions for a better prediction and integration of environmental influences need to continue within applied breeding schemes. Goals of the implementation of genomic selection into crop breeding should be carefully defined and crop breeders in the private sector will play a substantial part in the decision-making process. However, the lack of published results from studies within, or in collaboration with, private companies diminishes the knowledge on the status of genomic selection within applied breeding programmes. Studies on the implementation of genomic selection in plant breeding need to evaluate models and methods with an enhanced emphasis on population-specific requirements and production environments. Adaptation of methods to breeding schemes or changes to breeding programmes for a better integration of genomic selection strategies are needed across species. More openness with a continuous exchange will contribute to successes.

  17. Tracking Changes in Dissolved Organic Matter Patterns in Perennial Headwater Streams Throughout a Hydrologic Year Using In-situ Sensors and Optical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, A.; Epting, S.; Hosen, J. D.; Palmer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays a central role in freshwater streams but key questions remain unanswered about temporal patterns in its quantity and composition. DOM in perennial streams in the temperate zone is a complex mixture reflecting a variety of sources such as leached plant material, organic matter from surrounding soils, and microbial processes in the streams themselves. Headwater perennial streams in the Tuckahoe Creek watershed of the Atlantic coastal plain (Maryland, USA) drain a mosaic of land cover types including row crops, forests, and both forested and marshy small depressional wetlands. Wetland-stream surface hydrologic connections generally occur between mid-fall and late spring, coinciding with peak wetland hydrologic expression (i.e. highest groundwater levels and surface inundation extent). When inundated, these wetlands contain high DOM concentrations, and surface connections may serve as conduits for downstream export. We hypothesized that changes in wetland-stream surface hydrologic connectivity would affect patterns of DOM concentration and composition in these streams. We deployed 6 sondes equipped with fluorescent DOM sensors in 4 perennial streams, 1 forested wetland, and the larger downstream channel draining all study sites for the 2015 water year. The 4 headwater streams drain areas containing forested wetlands and have documented temporary channel connections. Combined with baseflow and stormflow sampling, the sondes provided 15 minute estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. This resolution provided insights into patterns of DOC concentration across temporal scales from daily rhythms to seasonal changes, during both baseflow and storm conditions. Discrete measurements of absorbance and fluorescence provided information about DOM composition throughout the study. Together these measurements give a detailed record of DOM dynamics in multiple perennial headwater streams for an entire year. This information

  18. Potential phytoextraction and phytostabilization of perennial peanut on copper-contaminated vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreazza, Robson; Bortolon, Leandro; Pieniz, Simone; Giacometti, Marcelo; Roehrs, Dione D; Lambais, Mácio R; Camargo, Flávio A O

    2011-12-01

    This study sought to evaluate the potential of perennial peanut (Arachis pintoi) for copper phytoremediation in vineyard soils (Inceptisol and Mollisol) contaminated with copper and copper mining waste. Our results showed high phytomass production of perennial peanut in both vineyard soils. Macronutrient uptakes were not negatively affected by perennial peanut cultivated in all contaminated soils. Plants cultivated in Mollisol showed high copper concentrations in the roots and shoots of 475 and 52 mg kg(-1), respectively. Perennial peanut plants showed low translocation factor values for Cu, although these plants showed high bioaccumulation factor (BCF) for both vineyard soils, Inceptisol and Mollisol, with BCF values of 3.83 and 3.24, respectively, being characterized as a copper hyperaccumulator plant in these soils. Copper phytoextraction from Inceptisol soil was the highest for both roots and entire plant biomass, with more than 800 mg kg(-1) of copper in whole plant. The highest potential copper phytoextraction by perennial peanut was in Inceptisol soil with copper removal of 2,500 g ha(-1). Also, perennial peanut showed high potential for copper phytoremoval in copper mining waste and Mollisol with 1,700 and 1,500 g of copper per hectare, respectively. In addition, perennial peanuts characterized high potential for phytoextraction and phytostabilization of copper in vineyard soils and copper mining waste.

  19. Phylogeny of economically important insect pests that infesting several crops species in Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazali, Siti Zafirah; Zain, Badrul Munir Md.; Yaakop, Salmah

    2014-09-01

    This paper reported molecular data on insect pests of commercial crops in Peninsular Malaysia. Fifteen insect pests (Metisa plana, Calliteara horsefeldii, Cotesia vestalis, Bactrocera papayae, Bactrocera carambolae, Bactrocera latifrons, Conopomorpha cramella, Sesamia inferens, Chilo polychrysa, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) of nine crops were sampled (oil palm, coconut, paddy, cocoa, starfruit, angled loofah, guava, chili and mustard) and also four species that belong to the fern's pest (Herpetogramma platycapna) and storage and rice pests (Tribolium castaneum, Oryzaephilus surinamensis and Cadra cautella). The presented phylogeny summarized the initial phylogenetic hypothesis, which concerning by implementation of the economically important insect pests. In this paper, phylogenetic relationships among 39 individuals of 15 species that belonging to three orders under 12 genera were inferred from DNA sequences of mitochondrial marker, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear marker, ribosomal DNA 28S D2 region. The phylogenies resulted from the phylogenetic analyses of both genes are relatively similar, but differ in the sequence of evolution. Interestingly, this most recent molecular data of COI sequences data by using Bayesian Inference analysis resulted a more-resolved phylogeny that corroborated with traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships based on traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships and most of recently molecular study compared to 28S sequences. This finding provides the information on relationships of pests species, which infested several crops in Malaysia and also estimation on Holometabola's order relationships. The identification of the larval stages of insect pests could be done accurately, without waiting the emergence of adults and supported by the phylogenetic tree.

  20. Crop responses to climatic variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Porter, John R.; Semenov, Mikhail A.

    2005-01-01

    The yield and quality of food crops is central to the well being of humans and is directly affected by climate and weather. Initial studies of climate change on crops focussed on effects of increased carbon dioxide (CO2) level and/or global mean temperature and/or rainfall and nutrition on crop...... production. However, crops can respond nonlinearly to changes in their growing conditions, exhibit threshold responses and are subject to combinations of stress factors that affect their growth, development and yield. Thus, climate variability and changes in the frequency of extreme events are important...... for yield, its stability and quality. In this context, threshold temperatures for crop processes are found not to differ greatly for different crops and are important to define for the major food crops, to assist climate modellers predict the occurrence of crop critical temperatures and their temporal...

  1. Water and nitrogen in crop and pasture systems in southern Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angus, J.F.; Peoples, M.B.; Herwaarden, A.F. van

    1998-01-01

    Recent research on water and N for dryland crops in southern Australia has addressed the need for more efficient and sustainable production. Water-use efficiency is well below the potential and N-use efficiency well below optimum on farms. Excess water and N cause on-site and off-site environmental damage. The most effective means of illustrating these inefficiencies to growers is to present simple benchmarks of water and N-use efficiencies with which farmers can assess and improve the performance of their own crops. The practices shown by our recent research that best support the goals of more efficient and sustainable production are those that maximize extraction of soil water and mineral N, and increase biological N 2 fixation. Wheat growing after a brassica break-crop extract more water and mineral N from the soil than when grown as a continuous cereal, apparently because of a 'biofumigation' effect that reduces the numbers of soil-borne pathogens of wheat and produces a stronger root system. In the case of phased pasture-crop systems, annual pastures do not fully extract subsoil water or mineral N. However, when the grasses are removed from annual pastures with a selective herbicide, the remaining pure clover rapidly decomposes after maturity, leaving a large amount of mineral N for the following crop. Perennial pastures containing lucerne produce more forage and fix more N 2 than do annual pastures, but they dry the soil profile. After removal of the lucerne, the soil may be so dry that mineralization is slow, with the risk of water deficit for the subsequent crop. (author)

  2. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  3. Effect of drought/irrigation on proximate composition and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Enset [Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman] is an important root crop serving as a carbohydrate rich food source in Ethiopia. Perennial crops, like enset, are often exposed to recurrent dry periods which could greatly affect their growth, physiology and yield. The effect of induced drought/irrigation on the proximate ...

  4. Biomassa microbiana e atividade enzimática em solos sob vegetação nativa e sistemas agrícolas anuais e perenes na região de Primavera do Leste (MT Microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils under native vegetation and under annual and perennial cropping systems at the Primavera do Leste region - Mato Grosso State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Matsuoka

    2003-06-01

    microbial biomass and enzyme activities in soils under native vegetation (known as "Cerradão" and in soils under annual and perennial cropping systems. Soil samples were collected, at the beginning of the rainy season, at two depths (0-5 and 5-20 cm in areas under a vineyard (row and between rows, annual crops (soybean and native vegetation. The parameters evaluated were soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC, readily mineralizable carbon (microbial respiration and the soil enzymes beta-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and arylsulfatase. In relation to the native area, at the two depths reductions of up to 70% in the MBC were observed in the annual and perennial cropping systems. The soil management conducted in the area between the rows of the vineyard along with the presence of the grass Eleusine indica, as a cover crop, favored an increase in the levels of readily mineralizable carbon, and the beta-glucosidase and arilsulfatase activities. The P content of the soil under Cerradão, at the two depths, reduced the levels of acid phosphatase activities as compared to other places of the Cerrados region. Nevertheless, at the 0-5 cm depth the phosphatase activity of the Cerradão area was greater than in the annual crops, showing the importance of this enzyme on organic P cycling in native ecosystems. The results confirmed the sensibility of microbiological and biochemical parameters to evaluate changes that occurred in soil as a consequence of different management systems.

  5. The Importance of Juvenile Root Traits for Crop Yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Philip; Adu, Michael; Broadley, Martin; Brown, Lawrie; Dupuy, Lionel; George, Timothy; Graham, Neil; Hammond, John; Hayden, Rory; Neugebauer, Konrad; Nightingale, Mark; Ramsay, Gavin; Thomas, Catherine; Thompson, Jacqueline; Wishart, Jane; Wright, Gladys

    2014-05-01

    Genetic variation in root system architecture (RSA) is an under-exploited breeding resource. This is partly a consequence of difficulties in the rapid and accurate assessment of subterranean root systems. However, although the characterisation of root systems of large plants in the field are both time-consuming and labour-intensive, high-throughput (HTP) screens of root systems of juvenile plants can be performed in the field, glasshouse or laboratory. It is hypothesised that improving the root systems of juvenile plants can accelerate access to water and essential mineral elements, leading to rapid crop establishment and, consequently, greater yields. This presentation will illustrate how aspects of the juvenile root systems of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus L.) correlate with crop yields and examine the reasons for such correlations. It will first describe the significant positive relationships between early root system development, phosphorus acquisition, canopy establishment and eventual yield among potato genotypes. It will report the development of a glasshouse assay for root system architecture (RSA) of juvenile potato plants, the correlations between root system architectures measured in the glasshouse and field, and the relationships between aspects of the juvenile root system and crop yields under drought conditions. It will then describe the development of HTP systems for assaying RSA of OSR seedlings, the identification of genetic loci affecting RSA in OSR, the development of mathematical models describing resource acquisition by OSR, and the correlations between root traits recorded in the HTP systems and yields of OSR in the field.

  6. The Forecasting of Adaptation Potential of Herbaceous Perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belykh, O. A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This work investigates the problem of the ecobiomorph productive features formation of perennial herbs Ranunculaceae family forecasting on the basis of quantitative connections of species parameters with the leading geomorphological factors of South Siberia environment.

  7. Photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency: setting a baseline for gauging future improvements in important food and biofuel crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Rebecca A; Ort, Donald R

    2015-06-01

    The conversion efficiency (ε(c)) of absorbed radiation into biomass (MJ of dry matter per MJ of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) is a component of yield potential that has been estimated at less than half the theoretical maximum. Various strategies have been proposed to improve ε(c), but a statistical analysis to establish baseline ε(c) levels across different crop functional types is lacking. Data from 164 published ε(c) studies conducted in relatively unstressed growth conditions were used to determine the means, greatest contributors to variation, and genetic trends in ε(c )across important food and biofuel crop species. ε(c) was greatest in biofuel crops (0.049-0.066), followed by C4 food crops (0.046-0.049), C3 nonlegumes (0.036-0.041), and finally C3 legumes (0.028-0.035). Despite confining our analysis to relatively unstressed growth conditions, total incident solar radiation and average growing season temperature most often accounted for the largest portion of ε(c) variability. Genetic improvements in ε(c), when present, were less than 0.7% per year, revealing the unrealized potential of improving ε(c) as a promising contributing strategy to meet projected future agricultural demand. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Dynamics of world oil crops market

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežević Marija

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the harvested area, oil crops are the second most important crops after cereals. Soybean is the most important oil crop in terms of production and trade of oilseeds and meals, and second most important in terms of production and trade of vegetable oils after palm oil. Dynamics of prices of derived oil crop products in the international market is conditioned by the relationship between supply and demand in the overall market of oil crops. The substitution of animal fats with vegetable oils in human nutrition, the expansion of biodiesel industry and intensification of livestock production have led to increased demand for oil crops. The objective of this paper was to identify trends in production, consumption and trade of soybeans, rapeseed and sunflower and their derived products.

  9. Ionomics: Genes and QTLs controlling heavy metal uptake in perennial grasses grown on phytoxic soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial grasses occupy diverse soils throughout the world, including many sites contaminated with heavy metals. Uncovering the genetic architecture of QTLs controlling mineral homoeostasis is critical for understanding the biochemical pathways that determine the elemental profiles of perennial pl...

  10. Diagnostics, taxonomy, nomenclature and distribution of perennial Sesuvium (Aizoaceae) in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhorukov, Alexander P.; Nilova, Maya V.; Erst, Andrey S.; Kushunina, Maria; Baider, Cláudia; Verloove, Filip; Salas-Pascual, Marcos; Belyaeva, Irina V.; Krinitsina, Anastasiya A.; Bruyns, Peter V.; Klak, Cornelia

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The taxonomy of perennial Sesuvium species in Africa has been poorly investigated until now. Previously five perennial species of Sesuvium were recognised in Africa (S. congense, S. crithmoides, S. mesembryanthemoides, S. portulacastrum, and S. sesuvioides). Based on the differing number of stamens, S. ayresii is accepted here as being distinct from S. portulacastrum. Field observations in Angola also led the authors to conclude that S. crystallinum and S. mesembryanthemoides are conspecific with S. crithmoides. A new subspecies, Sesuvium portulacastrum subsp. persoonii, is described from West Africa (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal). The molecular phylogeny indicates the position of S. portulacastrum subsp. persoonii within the “American lineage” as a part of the Sesuvium portulacastrum complex which needs further studies. A diagnostic key and taxonomic notes are provided for the six perennial species of Sesuvium found in Africa and recognised by the authors (S. ayresii, S. congense, S. crithmoides, S. portulacastrum subsp. portulacastrum, S. portulacastrum subsp. persoonii, S. verrucosum and the facultatively short-lived S. sesuvioides). The distribution of S. crithmoides, previously considered to be endemic to Angola, is now confirmed for the seashores of Republic of Congo and DR Congo. The American species S. verrucosum is reported for the first time for Africa (the Macaronesian islands: Cape Verde and the Canaries). It is locally naturalised in Gran Canaria, being a potentially invasive species. These findings as well as new records of S. verrucosum from Asia and the Pacific Islands confirm its proneness to transcontinental introduction. Lectotypes of S. brevifolium, S. crithmoides, S. crystallinum and S. mesembryanthemoides are selected. The seed micromorphology and anatomy of the perennial African species is studied. Compared to the seeds of some annual African Sesuvium investigated earlier, those of perennial species are

  11. Water and nitrogen requirements of subsurface drip irrigated pomegranate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surface drip irrigation is a well-developed practice for both annual and perennial crops. The use of subsurface drip is a well-established practice in many annual row crops, e.g. tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce. However, the use of subsurface drip on perennial crops has been slow to develop. With th...

  12. Field-Based Estimates of Global Warming Potential in Bioenergy Systems of Hawaii: Crop Choice and Deficit Irrigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan N Pawlowski

    Full Text Available Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable from a climate change perspective only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C stock are critical to the system-level balance. Here, we compared GHG flux, crop yield, root biomass, and soil C stock under two potential tropical, perennial grass biofuel feedstocks: conventional sugarcane and ratoon-harvested, zero-tillage napiergrass. Evaluations were conducted at two irrigation levels, 100% of plantation application and at a 50% deficit. Peaks and troughs of GHG emission followed agronomic events such as ratoon harvest of napiergrass and fertilization. Yet, net GHG flux was dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2, as methane was oxidized and nitrous oxide (N2O emission was very low even following fertilization. High N2O fluxes that frequently negate other greenhouse gas benefits that come from replacing fossil fuels with agronomic forms of bioenergy were mitigated by efficient water and fertilizer management, including direct injection of fertilizer into buried irrigation lines. From soil intensively cultivated for a century in sugarcane, soil C stock and root biomass increased rapidly following cultivation in grasses selected for robust root systems and drought tolerance. The net soil C increase over the two-year crop cycle was three-fold greater than the annualized soil surface CO2 flux. Deficit irrigation reduced yield, but increased soil C accumulation as proportionately more photosynthetic resources were allocated belowground. In the first two years of cultivation napiergrass did not increase net greenhouse warming potential (GWP compared to sugarcane, and has the advantage of multiple ratoon harvests per year and less negative effects of deficit irrigation to yield.

  13. Field-Based Estimates of Global Warming Potential in Bioenergy Systems of Hawaii: Crop Choice and Deficit Irrigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlowski, Meghan N; Crow, Susan E; Meki, Manyowa N; Kiniry, James R; Taylor, Andrew D; Ogoshi, Richard; Youkhana, Adel; Nakahata, Mae

    2017-01-01

    Replacing fossil fuel with biofuel is environmentally viable from a climate change perspective only if the net greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of the system is reduced. The effects of replacing annual arable crops with perennial bioenergy feedstocks on net GHG production and soil carbon (C) stock are critical to the system-level balance. Here, we compared GHG flux, crop yield, root biomass, and soil C stock under two potential tropical, perennial grass biofuel feedstocks: conventional sugarcane and ratoon-harvested, zero-tillage napiergrass. Evaluations were conducted at two irrigation levels, 100% of plantation application and at a 50% deficit. Peaks and troughs of GHG emission followed agronomic events such as ratoon harvest of napiergrass and fertilization. Yet, net GHG flux was dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2), as methane was oxidized and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission was very low even following fertilization. High N2O fluxes that frequently negate other greenhouse gas benefits that come from replacing fossil fuels with agronomic forms of bioenergy were mitigated by efficient water and fertilizer management, including direct injection of fertilizer into buried irrigation lines. From soil intensively cultivated for a century in sugarcane, soil C stock and root biomass increased rapidly following cultivation in grasses selected for robust root systems and drought tolerance. The net soil C increase over the two-year crop cycle was three-fold greater than the annualized soil surface CO2 flux. Deficit irrigation reduced yield, but increased soil C accumulation as proportionately more photosynthetic resources were allocated belowground. In the first two years of cultivation napiergrass did not increase net greenhouse warming potential (GWP) compared to sugarcane, and has the advantage of multiple ratoon harvests per year and less negative effects of deficit irrigation to yield.

  14. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    reviewers for their comments and suggestions. ... Asia and Africa) devoted special issues to focus on the significance and ... Adjustment Program (SAP) and economic liberalization throughout sub- ..... of students in each household. ... collaboration with various institutions (University of Oxford, UK and International Food.

  15. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    absence of price equation, the effect of any disequilibrium between aggregate .... Many estimators could have been considered, but in order to limit the size and cost of ... Ordinary least squares plus first- and second-order serial correlation.

  16. Impact of cash cropping and perennial crops on food crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There may be uncertainty about the relationships between instruments and ... For example, economic growth is a key instrument for reaching a range of ... initial conditions for subsequent high growth and poverty reduction (see McMahon.

  17. Genomics-Assisted Exploitation of Heterosis in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Islam, Md. Shofiqul

    ryegrass for the development of improved varieties. During his PhD studies, Mohammad Shofiqul Islam studied the feasibility of developing novel hybrid breeding schemes based on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) systems in perennial ryegrass. He successfully completed the assembly and annotation of a male......-fertile perennial ryegrass mitochondrial genome, and identified candidate genes responsible for the CMS phenotype by comparing male-fertile and male-sterile mitochondrial genomes. His findings constitute a good basis for continuing research to produce hybrid grass varieties to address the future needs......, breeding activities have been carried out to improve the population and develop synthetic varieties. This does not fully exploit the potential of heterosis, however. Hybrid breeding is an alternative strategy and provides opportunities to fully exploit the genetically available heterosis in perennial...

  18. Mixed crop-livestock production systems of smallholder farmers in sub-humid and semi-arid areas of Zambia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lungu, J.C.N.

    2002-01-01

    Livestock production activities among small-scale farmers of semi-arid (Agro-ecological zone 1) and sub-humid (Agro-ecological zone 2) areas of Zambia are integrated with crop production activities in what is termed as crop/livestock farming system. This is a closed system in which production of one enterprise depends on the other. In Zambia, crop production depends on draught animals for tillage of cropping area, animal manure for fertilisation of crops while livestock depend on crop residues for dry season feeding. Good quality grass is generally available in adequate amounts to support reasonable level of livestock productivity during the rainy season. But livestock rely on low quantity and poor quality, highly fibrous perennial grass from veld and fibrous crop residues during the dry season. These resources are inadequate to support optimum livestock productivity activities. Poor nutrition results in low rates of reproduction and production as well as increased susceptibility to diseases. With the increasing human population cropping land is expanding, leading to increased production of crop residues. This has however, reduced the grazing land available for ruminant production. In Zambia large quantities of crop residues (stovers, husks and straws, legume tops and hulls, sugar cane tops, cassava leaves, potato vines, etc.) are left in the field where they are wasted each year because small-scale farmers lack the knowledge on how best to use them. There is a need to find ways to reverse this situation by adapting known and workable technologies to local conditions and by introducing new approaches for improving the use of crop residues and poor quality fibrous feeds. Efforts should also be made to enlarge feed resource base. The technologies should be simple and effective. In the presence of a dynamic market system, livestock production in a crop/livestock system could be intensified and made profitable for small-scale farmers. (author)

  19. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  20. Effects of native perennial vegetation buffer strips on dissolved organic carbon in surface runoff from an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomorra E. Smith; Randall K. Kolka; Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Richard M. Cruse; Mark D. Tomer

    2014-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) constitutes a small yet important part of a watershed's carbon budget because it is mobile and biologically active. Agricultural conservation practices such as native perennial vegetation (NPV) strips will influence carbon cycling of an upland agroecosystem, and could affect how much DOC enters streams in runoff, potentially...

  1. Abiotic factors affect the recruitment and biomass of perennial grass and evergreen shrub seedlings in denuded areas of Patagonian Monte rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosco, Tomás; Bertiller, Mónica Beatriz; Carrera, Analía Lorena

    2018-07-15

    Assessing the ability of key species to cope with environmental stresses in disturbed areas is an important issue for recovery of degraded arid ecosystem. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of soil moisture, exposure to UV radiation, and presence/absence of litter with different chemistry on soil N, recruitment and biomass of seedlings of perennial grass (Poa ligularis and Nassella tenuis) and evergreen shrub species (Atriplex lampa and Larrea divaricata) in denuded areas. We carried out a microcosm experiment with soil blocks (28 cm depth) sowed with seeds of the target species, subjected to different levels of litter type (perennial grass-evergreen shrub mixture, evergreen shrub mixture, and no litter), UV radiation (near ambient and reduced UV), and soil water (high: 15-25% and low 5-15%). Periodically, during 6 months, we assessed soil-N (total and inorganic) at two depths and species seedling recruitment at microcosms. Additionally, emerged seedlings of each species were transplanted to individual pots containing soil and subjected to the same previous factors during 12 months. Then, all plants were harvested and biomass assessed. Only inorganic soil-N at the upper soil varied among treatments increasing with the presence of evergreen shrub litter, exposure to ambient UV, and high soil water. Inorganic soil-N, promoted by near ambient UV and high soil water, had a positive effect on recruitment of perennial grasses and A. lampa. Both litter types promoted the recruitment of perennial grasses. Evergreen shrub litter and high soil water promoted the recruitment of L. divaricata. Seedling biomass of perennial grasses increased with high soil water and reduced UV. Ambient UV had positive or null effects on biomass of evergreen shrub seedlings. High soil water increased biomass of L. divaricata seedlings. We concluded that soil water appeared as the most limiting factor for seedling recruitment of all species whereas inorganic soil N limited the

  2. Allium hookeri , Thw. Enum. A lesser known terrestrial perennial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A lesser known terrestrial perennial herb used as food and its ethnobotanical ... from the wilderness, for consumption and traditional healing of various ailments. ... plants, the lifestyles of the people are changed and they prefer 'junk foods'.

  3. Investigating Impacts of Alternative Crop Market Scenarios on Land Use Change with an Agent-Based Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ding

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We developed an agent-based model (ABM to simulate farmers’ decisions on crop type and fertilizer application in response to commodity and biofuel crop prices. Farm profit maximization constrained by farmers’ profit expectations for land committed to biofuel crop production was used as the decision rule. Empirical parameters characterizing farmers’ profit expectations were derived from an agricultural landowners and operators survey and integrated in the ABM. The integration of crop production cost models and the survey information in the ABM is critical to producing simulations that can provide realistic insights into agricultural land use planning and policy making. Model simulations were run with historical market prices and alternative market scenarios for corn price, soybean to corn price ratio, switchgrass price, and switchgrass to corn stover ratio. The results of the comparison between simulated cropland percentage and crop rotations with satellite-based land cover data suggest that farmers may be underestimating the effects that continuous corn production has on yields. The simulation results for alternative market scenarios based on a survey of agricultural land owners and operators in the Clear Creek Watershed in eastern Iowa show that farmers see cellulosic biofuel feedstock production in the form of perennial grasses or corn stover as a more risky enterprise than their current crop production systems, likely because of market and production risks and lock in effects. As a result farmers do not follow a simple farm-profit maximization rule.

  4. One crop breeding cycle from starvation? How engineering crop photosynthesis for rising CO2 and temperature could be one important route to alleviation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kromdijk, Johannes; Long, Stephen P

    2016-03-16

    Global climate change is likely to severely impact human food production. This comes at a time when predicted demand for primary foodstuffs by a growing human population and changing global diets is already outpacing a stagnating annual rate of increase in crop productivity. Additionally, the time required by crop breeding and bioengineering to release improved varieties to farmers is substantial, meaning that any crop improvements needed to mitigate food shortages in the 2040s would need to start now. In this perspective, the rationale for improvements in photosynthetic efficiency as a breeding objective for higher yields is outlined. Subsequently, using simple simulation models it is shown how predicted changes in temperature and atmospheric [CO2] affect leaf photosynthetic rates. The chloroplast accounts for the majority of leaf nitrogen in crops. Within the chloroplast about 25% of nitrogen is invested in the carboxylase, Rubisco, which catalyses the first step of CO2 assimilation. Most of the remaining nitrogen is invested in the apparatus to drive carbohydrate synthesis and regenerate ribulose-1:5-bisphosphate (RuBP), the CO2-acceptor molecule at Rubisco. At preindustrial [CO2], investment in these two aspects may have been balanced resulting in co-limitation. At today's [CO2], there appears to be over-investment in Rubisco, and despite the counter-active effects of rising temperature and [CO2], this imbalance is predicted to worsen with global climate change. By breeding or engineering restored optimality under future conditions increased productivity could be achieved in both tropical and temperate environments without additional nitrogen fertilizer. Given the magnitude of the potential shortfall, better storage conditions, improved crop management and better crop varieties will all be needed. With the short time-scale at which food demand is expected to outpace supplies, all available technologies to improve crop varieties, from classical crop breeding to

  5. Production of biomass/energy crops on phosphatic clay soils in central Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stricker, J.A. [Univ. of Florida, Bartow, FL (United States); Prine, G.M.; Woodard, K.R. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Anderson, D.L. [Univ. of Florida, Belle Glade, FL (United States); Shibles, D.B.; Riddle, T.C. [Mined Lands Agricultural Research/Demonstration Project, Bartow, FL (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Phosphatic clay is a byproduct of phosphate mining. Presently more than 40,470 ha have been created, most in central Florida, and about 810 ha are being added each year. Phosphatic clays have high fertility and high water holding capacity, reducing fertilization costs and producing high yields without irrigation. Based on 10 years of research, scientists have selected tall annual-regenerating perennial C-4 grasses as having the greatest potential for biomass production in Florida. The purpose of this work was to determine the feasibility of growing these tall perennial grasses for biomass on phosphatic clay. Elephantgrass, sugarcane and energycane, and erianthus were planted in duplicate replications on phosphatic clay soil in late August, 1986. yield was measured by one harvest in December or January each year for four years. Nitrogen fertilization included 112 kg ha{sup {minus}1} the first year followed by 134 kg ha{sup {minus}1} for the next three years. Nitrogen is the only supplemental nutrient needed to grow all tall grass crops on phosphatic clay. The average annual oven dry matter yield over the 4-yr period was 36.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for PI 300086 elephantgrass, 45.2 for N51 elephantgrass, 42.5 for L79-1002 energycane, 49.0 for US72-1153 energycane, 49.7 for US78-1009 sugarcane, 52.2 for US56-9 sugarcane, 56.2 for CP72-1210 sugarcane, and 48.8 for 1K-7647 erianthus. More recent work has utilized domestic sewage sludge as a nitrogen source for the tall grasses. Preliminary sugar yields of selected sugarcane accessions & sweet sorghum were 4.7 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for CP72-1210, 12.5 for US67-2022, 3.4 for US78-1009 and 1.3 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} for sweet sorghum. The high yields of the tall grasses grown on phosphatic clay with low inputs indicate a great potential for these crops as a source of renewable energy. A sustainable cropping system may be maintained by utilizing municipal sewage sludge as a nitrogen source with tall grasses on phosphatic clay.

  6. Productivity and carbon dioxide exchange of leguminous crops: estimates from flux tower measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Baker, John M.; Bernacchi, Carl J.; Billesbach, David P.; Burba, George G.; Castro, Saulo; Chen, Jiquan; Eugster, Werner; Fischer, Marc L.; Gamon, John A.; Gebremedhin, Maheteme T.; Glenn, Aaron J.; Griffis, Timothy J.; Hatfield, Jerry L.; Heuer, Mark W.; Howard, Daniel M.; Leclerc, Monique Y.; Loescher, Henry W.; Marloie, Oliver; Meyers, Tilden P.; Olioso, Albert; Phillips, Rebecca L.; Prueger, John H.; Skinner, R. Howard; Suyker, Andrew E.; Tenuta, Mario; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2014-01-01

    Net CO2 exchange data of legume crops at 17 flux tower sites in North America and three sites in Europe representing 29 site-years of measurements were partitioned into gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration by using the nonrectangular hyperbolic light-response function method. The analyses produced net CO2 exchange data and new ecosystem-scale ecophysiological parameter estimates for legume crops determined at diurnal and weekly time steps. Dynamics and annual totals of gross photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem production were calculated by gap filling with multivariate nonlinear regression. Comparison with the data from grain crops obtained with the same method demonstrated that CO2 exchange rates and ecophysiological parameters of legumes were lower than those of maize (Zea mays L.) but higher than for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crops. Year-round annual legume crops demonstrated a broad range of net ecosystem production, from sinks of 760 g CO2 m–2 yr–1 to sources of –2100 g CO2 m–2 yr–1, with an average of –330 g CO2 m–2 yr–1, indicating overall moderate CO2–source activity related to a shorter period of photosynthetic uptake and metabolic costs of N2 fixation. Perennial legumes (alfalfa, Medicago sativa L.) were strong sinks for atmospheric CO2, with an average net ecosystem production of 980 (range 550–1200) g CO2 m–2 yr–1.

  7. Carbon footprints of crops from organic and conventional arable crop rotations – using a life cycle assessment approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Meyer-Aurich, A; Olesen, Jørgen E

    2014-01-01

    Many current organic arable agriculture systems are challenged by a dependency on imported livestock manure from conventional agriculture. At the same time organic agriculture aims at being climate friendly. A life cycle assessment is used in this paper to compare the carbon footprints of different....... The results showed significantly lower carbon footprint of the crops from the ‘Biogas’ rotation (assuming that biogas replaces fossil gas) whereas the remaining crop rotations had comparable carbon footprints per kg cash crop. The study showed considerable contributions caused by the green manure crop (grass......-clover) and highlights the importance of analysing the whole crop rotation and including soil carbon changes when estimating carbon footprints of organic crops especially where green manure crops are included....

  8. Genetical, cytological and physiological studies on the induced mutants with special regard to effective methods for obtaining useful mutants in perennial woody plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kukimura, H.; Ikeda, F.; Fujita, H.; Maeta, T.; Nakajima, K.; Katagiri, K.; Nakahira, K.; Somegou, M.

    1975-01-01

    The study was aimed at elucidating the biological aspects of artificially induced mutations in perennial tree crops and at promoting the utilization of such mutations in a practical breeding programme. A number of mutants obtained particularly in Cryptomeria and mulberry (Morus spp.) by means of gamma radiation were examined for their practical usefulness. Doses from 7.5 to 15.0 kR were used. In mulbery, some mutant strains showed increased shoot growth, and one mutant strain showed a remarkable increase also in rooting ability. Entire leaf mutants were investigated for their breeding behaviour. None of the mutant strains showed acquired disease resistance. Changes in the number of isozyme bands and different staining intensity was observed in all the mutant strains compared to the original strains

  9. Influence of crop load on almond tree water status and its importance in irrigation scheduling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puerto Conesa, Pablo; Domingo Miguel, Rafael; Torres Sánchez, Roque; Pérez Pastor, Alejandro

    2014-05-01

    In the Mediterranean area water is the main factor limiting crop production and therefore irrigation is essential to achieve economically viable yields. One of the fundamental techniques to ensure that irrigation water is managed efficiently with maximum productivity and minimum environmental impact is irrigation scheduling. The fact that the plant water status integrates atmospheric demand and soil water content conditions encourages the use of plant-based water status indicators. Some researchers have successfully scheduled irrigation in certain fruit trees by maintaining the maximum daily trunk diameter shrinkage (MDS) signal intensity at threshold values to generate (or not) water stress. However MDS not only depends on the climate and soil water content, but may be affected by tree factors such as age, size, phenological stage and fruit load. There is therefore a need to quantify the influence of these factors on MDS. The main objective of this work was to study the effects of crop load on tree water relations for scheduling purposes. We particularly focused on MDS vs VPD10-15 (mean air vapor pressure deficit during the period 10.00-15.00 h solar time) for different loads and phenological phases under non-limiting soil water conditions. The experiment was carried out in 2011 in a 1 ha plot in SE Spain with almond trees (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb cv. 'Marta'). Three crop load treatments were studied according to three crop load levels, i) T100, high crop load, characteristic crop load, ii) T50, medium crop load, in which 50% of the fruits were removed and iii) T0, practically without fruits. Fruits were manually thinned. Each treatment, randomly distributed in blocks, was run in triplicate. Plant water status was assessed from midday stem water potential (Ψs), MDS, daily trunk growth rate (TGR), leaf turgor potential Ψp, fruit water potential (Ψf), stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthesis (Pn) and transpiration rates (E). Yield, pruning weights and

  10. Seasonal/Interannual Variations of Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Emission in a Warm-Season Perennial Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

    Carbon sequestration and carbon emission are processes of ecosystem carbon cycling that can be affected while land area converted to grassland resulting in increased soil carbon storage and below-ground respiration. Discerning the importance of carbon cycle in grassland, we aimed to estimate carbon sequestration in photosynthesis and carbon emission in respiration from soil, root, and microbes, for four consecutive years (2007–2010) in a warm-season perennial grassland, Japan. Soil carbon emi...

  11. Structural changes and degradation of Red Latosols under different management systems for 20 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Tavares Filho

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Soils are the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems and their role in food production is fundamental, although physical degradation has been observed in recent years, caused by different cultural practices that modify structures and consequently the functioning of soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate possible structural changes and degradation in an Oxisol under different managements for 20 years: no-tillage cultivation with and without crop rotation, perennial crop and conventional tillage, plus a forested area (reference. Initially, the crop profile was described and subsequently, 10 samples per management system and forest soil were collected to quantify soil organic matter, flocculation degree, bulk density, and macroporosity. The results indicated structural changes down to a soil depth of 50 cm, with predominance of structural units ∆μ (intermediate compaction level under perennial crop and no-tillage crop rotation, and of structural units ∆ (compacted under conventional tillage and no-tillage. The soil was increasingly degraded in the increasing order: forest => no-tillage crop rotation => perennial crop => no-tillage without crop rotation => conventional tillage. In all managements, the values of organic matter and macroporosity were always below and bulk density always above those of the reference area (forest and, under no-tillage crop rotation and perennial crop, the flocculation degree was proportionally equal to that of the reference area.

  12. Horticultural markets promote alien species invasions: an Estonian case study of herbaceous perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merle Ööpik

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Gardening is a popular pastime, but commercial horticulture is responsible for the introduction of alien species and contributes to invasions in a variety of ways. Although an extensive international literature is available on plant invasions, it is still important at the national level to examine the influence of local factors. Accordingly, 17 nurseries in Estonia that cultivated and sold perennial alien species were selected, and a list of species and prices was compiled. The relationships between species status, and factors such as their abundance in the wild were examined statistically. A qualitative list of the nationally problematic species among herbaceous perennials was also completed. A total of 880 taxa were recorded, of which 10.3% were native and 89.7% alien. In all, 87.3% of the alien species were still confined to cultivated areas. The ecological and socio-economic characteristics of the taxa were described, and lists of the families of casual, naturalised and invasive aliens were provided. Both native and increasing wild alien species have a very similar profile on the market. Alien species that are less expensive, widely available and have more cultivars per species on the market are also more likely to escape. The invasive status and abundance of escaped aliens in an area increases with residence time. In general, socio-economic factors create new and reflect previous propagule pressures from commercial horticulture, which continuously increase the likelihood of alien species surviving and invading new areas. Our findings suggest that these national socio-economic market-related factors explain much of the invasiveness of various perennial ornamental species, and therefore regional and national authorities urgently need to regulate and control the ornamental plant trade to diminish the risk of new invasions.

  13. Crop residue management in arable cropping systems under a temperate climate. Part 2: Soil physical properties and crop production. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiel, MP.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Residues of previous crops provide a valuable amount of organic matter that can be used either to restore soil fertility or for external use. A better understanding of the impact of crop residue management on the soil-water-plant system is needed in order to manage agricultural land sustainably. This review focuses on soil physical aspects related to crop residue management, and specifically on the link between soil structure and hydraulic properties and its impact on crop production. Literature. Conservation practices, including crop residue retention and non-conventional tillage, can enhance soil health by improving aggregate stability. In this case, water infiltration is facilitated, resulting in an increase in plant water availability. Conservation practices, however, do not systematically lead to higher water availability for the plant. The influence of crop residue management on crop production is still unclear; in some cases, crop production is enhanced by residue retention, but in others crop residues can reduce crop yield. Conclusions. In this review we discuss the diverse and contrasting effects of crop residue management on soil physical properties and crop production under a temperate climate. The review highlights the importance of environmental factors such as soil type and local climatic conditions, highlighting the need to perform field studies on crop residue management and relate them to specific pedo-climatic contexts.

  14. Importance of neutral processes varies in time and space: Evidence from dryland stream ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Dong

    Full Text Available Many ecosystems experience strong temporal variability in environmental conditions; yet, a clear picture of how niche and neutral processes operate to determine community assembly in temporally variable systems remains elusive. In this study, we constructed neutral metacommunity models to assess the relative importance of neutral processes in a spatially and temporally variable ecosystem. We analyzed macroinvertebrate community data spanning multiple seasons and years from 20 sites in a Sonoran Desert river network in Arizona. The model goodness-of-fit was used to infer the importance of neutral processes. Averaging over eight stream flow conditions across three years, we found that neutral processes were more important in perennial streams than in non-perennial streams (intermittent and ephemeral streams. Averaging across perennial and non-perennial streams, we found that neutral processes were more important during very high flow and in low flow periods; whereas, at very low flows, the relative importance of neutral processes varied greatly. These findings were robust to the choice of model parameter values. Our study suggested that the net effect of disturbance on the relative importance of niche and neutral processes in community assembly varies non-monotonically with the severity of disturbance. In contrast to the prevailing view that disturbance promotes niche processes, we found that neutral processes could become more important when the severity of disturbance is beyond a certain threshold such that all organisms are adversely affected regardless of their biological traits and strategies.

  15. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaobo; Helmers, Matthew J; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Kolka, Randy; Tomer, Mark D

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to assess the potential for perennial filter strips (PFS) to mitigate increases in NO3-N levels. The study, conducted at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NSNWR) in central Iowa, consisted of a balanced incomplete block design with 12 watersheds and four watershed-scale treatments having different proportions and topographic positions of PFS planted in native prairie grasses: 100% rowcrop, 10% PFS (toeslope position), 10% PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips), and 20 PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips). All treatments were established in fall 2006 on watersheds that were under bromegrass (Bromus L.) cover for at least 10 yr. Nonperennial areas were maintained under a no-till 2-yr corn (Zea mays L.)--soybean [Glycine max. (L.) Merr.] rotation since spring 2007. Suction lysimeter and shallow groundwater wells located at upslope and toeslope positions were sampled monthly during the growing season to determine NO3-N concentration from 2005 to 2008. The results indicated significant increases in NO3-N concentration in soil and groundwater following grassland-to-cropland conversion. Nitrate-nitrogen levels in the vadose zone and groundwater under PFS were lower compared with 100% cropland, with the most significant differences occurring at the toeslope position. During the years following conversion, PFS mitigated increases in subsurface nitrate, but long-term monitoring is needed to observe and understand the full response to land-use conversion.

  16. 4F CROPS: Future crops for food, feed, fibre and fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    E. Alexopoulou, E.; Christou, M.; Eleftheriadis, I. [Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Pikermi Attikis (Greece)

    2008-07-01

    As different sectors - food, feed, fiber, and fuels - compete for land, the yielding potential of the future non-food crops has to be as efficient as possible in order to minimize the competition for land. The main objective of 4F CROPS project is to survey and analyze all the parameters that will play an important role in successful non-food cropping systems in the agriculture of EU27 alongside the existing food crop systems. The work will start with the prediction of the future land use in short term (2020) and long term (2030), taking under consideration restrict factors for agriculture and the market demand for non-food crops. The cropping possibilities based on regional potential levels, ecology and climate will be determined. This group of non-food crops will be then subjected to a comparative cost analysis with conventional crops for the same time framework. Socio-economic impacts, like farmers' income, rural development, public development, and public acceptance will analyze. Then environmental implications will be assessed compared to their respective conventional products (fossil energy, conversional materials). Several environmental impacts will be assessed like soil quality and soil erosion, air quality and climate change, water issues, biodiversity and landscape by using LCA and EIE methods. The regulatory framework of the non-food crops will be considered including existing policies, co-existence and safety measures when the crops used for both food and non-food crops. All the collected information will be used for the formation of scenarios for successful non-food cropping alongside food cropping systems answering whether a completive bioeconomy is a viable option for EU27.

  17. N2O Emission from energy crop fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joergensen, B.J.; Nyholm Joergensen, R.

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N 2 O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N 2 O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO 2 . The contribution of N 2 O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N 2 O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N 2 O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N 2 O flux from a Miscanthus 'Giganteus' (M. 'Giganteus') and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N 2 O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N 2 O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N 2 O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N 2 O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N 2 O ha -1 yr -1 . This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO 2 ha -1 yr -1 compared to a total CO 2 reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO 2 ha -1 yr -1 using the energy crops as substitution for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N 2 O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the CO 2 reduction per unit dry matter. Following the guidelines for good agricultural practice concerning the

  18. Perennial Environment Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plas, Frederic

    2014-07-01

    The Perennial Environment Observatory [Observatoire Perenne de l'Environnement - OPE] is a unique approach and infrastructure developed and implemented by ANDRA, the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency, as part of its overall project of deep geological disposal for radioactive waste. Its current mission is to assess the initial state of the rural (forest, pasture, open-field and aquatic) environment, prior to repository construction. This will be followed in 2017 (pending construction authorizations) and for a period exceeding a century, by monitoring of any impact the repository may have on the environment. In addition to serving its own industrial purpose of environmental monitoring, ANDRA also opens the OPE approach, infrastructure and acquired knowledge (database...) to the scientific community to support further research on long term evolution of the environment subjected to natural and anthropogenic stresses, and to contribute to a better understanding of the interaction between the various compartments of the environment

  19. An arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and Epichloë festucae var. lolii reduce Bipolaris sorokiniana disease incidence and improve perennial ryegrass growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fang; Guo, Yan'e; Christensen, Michael J; Gao, Ping; Li, Yanzhong; Duan, Tingyu

    2018-02-01

    Leaf spot of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) caused by Bipolaris sorokiniana is an important disease in temperate regions of the world. We designed this experiment to test for the combined effects of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Claroideoglomus etunicatum and the grass endophyte fungus Epichloë festucae var. lolii on growth and disease occurrence in perennial ryegrass. The results show that C. etunicatum increased plant P uptake and total dry weight and that this beneficial effect was slightly enhanced when in association with the grass endophyte. The presence in plants of both the endophyte and B. sorokiniana decreased AM fungal colonization. Plants inoculated with B. sorokiniana showed the typical leaf spot symptoms 2 weeks after inoculation and the lowest disease incidence was with plants that were host to both C. etunicatum and E. festucae var. lolii. Plants with these two fungi had much higher activity of peroxidases (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) and lower values of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ). The AM fungus C. etunicatum and the grass endophyte fungus E. festucae var. lolii have the potential to promote perennial ryegrass growth and resistance to B. sorokiniana leaf spot.

  20. Flavone-rich maize: An opportunity to improve the nutritional value of an important commodity crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Isabel Casas

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural outputs have resulted in food production continuously expanding. Satisfying the needs of a fast growing human population, higher yields, more efficient food processing, and food esthetic value, resulted in crop varieties with higher caloric intake but lacking many phytochemicals important for plant protection and adequate human nutrition. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, combined with social disparity worldwide prompted the interest in developing enhanced crops that can simultaneously address the two sides of the current malnutrition sword, increasing yield while providing added nutritional value. Flavones, phytochemicals associated with the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. However, many Mediterranean diet-associated vegetables are inaccessible, or lowly consumed, in many parts of the world. Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop, yet most lines used for hybrid maize production lack flavones. As a first step towards a sustainable strategy to increasing the nutritional value of maize-based diets, we investigated the accumulation and chemical properties of flavones in maize seeds of defined genotypes. We show that the pericarps of the P1-rr genotype accumulate flavones at levels comparable to those present in some flavone-rich vegetables, and are mostly present in their C- and O-glycosylated forms. Some of these glycosides can be readily converted into the corresponding more active health beneficial aglycones during food processing. Our results provide evidence that nutritionally beneficial flavones could be re-introduced into elite lines to increase the dietary benefits of maize.

  1. Herbicide-resistant crop biotechnology: potential and pitfalls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide-resistant crops are an important agricultural biotechnology that can enable farmers to effectively control weeds without harming their crops. Glyphosate-resistant (i.e. Roundup Ready) crops have been the most commercially successful varieties of herbicide-resistant crops and have been plan...

  2. Water Erosion on an Oxisol under Integrated Crop-Forest Systems in a Transitional Area between the Amazon and Cerrado Biomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Alexandre Rieger

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Water erosion is one of the main factors driving soil degradation, which has large economic and environmental impacts. Agricultural production systems that are able to provide soil and water conservation are of crucial importance in achieving more sustainable use of natural resources, such as soil and water. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil and water losses in different integrated production systems under natural rainfall. Experimental plots under six different land use and cover systems were established in an experimental field of Embrapa Agrossilvipastoril in Sinop, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, in a Latossolo Vermelho-Amarelo Distrófico (Udox with clayey texture. The treatments consisted of perennial pasture (PAS, crop-forest integration (CFI, eucalyptus plantation (EUC, soybean and corn crop succession (CRP, no ground cover (NGC, and forest (FRS. Soil losses in the treatments studied were below the soil loss limits (11.1 Mg ha-1 yr-1, with the exception of the plot under bare soil (NGC, which exhibited soil losses 30 % over the tolerance limit. Water losses on NGC, EUC, CRP, PAS, CFI and FRS were 33.8, 2.9, 2.4, 1.7, 2.4, and 0.5 % of the total rainfall during the period of study, respectively.

  3. Impact of heat stress on crop yield—on the importance of considering canopy temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siebert, Stefan; Ewert, Frank; Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan; Kage, Henning; Graß, Rikard

    2014-01-01

    Increasing crop productivity while simultaneously reducing the environmental footprint of crop production is considered a major challenge for the coming decades. Even short episodes of heat stress can reduce crop yield considerably causing low resource use efficiency. Studies on the impact of heat stress on crop yields over larger regions generally rely on temperatures measured by standard weather stations at 2 m height. Canopy temperatures measured in this study in field plots of rye were up to 7 °C higher than air temperature measured at typical weather station height with the differences in temperatures controlled by soil moisture contents. Relationships between heat stress and grain number derived from controlled environment studies were only confirmed under field conditions when canopy temperature was used to calculate stress thermal time. By using hourly mean temperatures measured by 78 weather stations located across Germany for the period 1994–2009 it is estimated, that mean yield declines in wheat due to heat stress during flowering were 0.7% when temperatures are measured at 2 m height, but yield declines increase to 22% for temperatures measured at the ground. These results suggest that canopy temperature should be simulated or estimated to reduce uncertainty in assessing heat stress impacts on crop yield. (letter)

  4. Soil Hydrological Attributes of an Integrated Crop-Livestock Agroecosystem: Increased Adaptation through Resistance to Soil Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liebig, M.A; Tanaka, D.L; Kronberg, S.L; Karn, J.F; Scholljegerdes, E.J

    2011-01-01

    Integrated crop-livestock systems have been purported to have significant agronomic and environmental benefits compared to specialized, single-enterprise production systems. However, concerns exist regarding the effect of livestock in integrated systems to cause soil compaction, thereby decreasing infiltration of water into soil. Such concerns are compounded by projections of more frequent high-intensity rainfall events from anticipated climate change, which would act to increase surface runoff and soil erosion. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of residue management, frequency of hoof traffic, season, and production system (e.g., integrated annual cropping versus perennial grass) on infiltration rates from 2001 through 2008 in central North Dakota, USA. Imposed treatments had no effect on infiltration rate at three, six, and nine years after study establishment, implying that agricultural producers should not be concerned with inhibited infiltration in integrated annual cropping systems, where winter grazing is used. The use of no-till management, coupled with annual freeze/thaw and wet/dry cycles, likely conferred an inherent resistance to change in near-surface soil properties affecting soil hydrological attributes. Accordingly, caution should be exercised in applying these results to other regions or management systems.

  5. Enhancing productivity of salt affected soils through crops and cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, S.S.; Khan, A.R.

    2002-05-01

    The reclamation of salt affected soils needs the addition of soil amendment and enough water to leach down the soluble salts. The operations may also include other simple agronomic techniques to reclaim soils and to know the crops and varieties that may be grown and other management practices which may be followed on such soils (Khan, 2001). The choice of crops to be grown during reclamation of salt affected soils is very important to obtain acceptable yields. This also decides cropping systems as well as favorable diversification for early reclamation, desirable yield and to meet the other requirements of farm families. In any salt affected soils, the following three measures are adopted for reclamation and sustaining the higher productivity of reclaimed soils. 1. Suitable choice of crops, forestry and tree species; 2. Suitable choice of cropping and agroforestry system; 3. Other measures to sustain the productivity of reclaimed soils. (author)

  6. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  7. Development and Deployment of a Short Rotation Woody Crops Harvesting System Based on a Case New Holland Forage Harvester and SRC Woody Crop Header

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eisenbies, Mark [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Volk, Timothy [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Abrahamson, Lawrence [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Shuren, Richard [GreenWood Resources, Inc., Portland, OR (United States); Stanton, Brian [GreenWood Resources, Inc., Portland, OR (United States); Posselius, John [Case New Holland, New Holland, PA (United States); McArdle, Matt [Mesa Reduction Engineering and Processing, Inc., Auburn, NY (United States); Karapetyan, Samvel [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Patel, Aayushi [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Shi, Shun [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States); Zerpa, Jose [State Univ. of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY (United States)

    2014-10-03

    Biomass for biofuels, bioproducts and bioenergy can be sourced from forests, agricultural crops, various residue streams, and dedicated woody or herbaceous crops. Short rotation woody crops (SRWC), like willow and hybrid poplar, are perennial cropping systems that produce a number of environmental and economic development benefits in addition to being a renewable source of biomass that can be produced on marginal land. Both hybrid poplar and willow have several characteristics that make them an ideal feedstock for biofuels, bioproducts, and bioenergy; these include high yields that can be obtained in three to four years, ease of cultivar propagation from dormant cuttings, a broad underutilized genetic base, ease of breeding, ability to resprout after multiple harvests, and feedstock composition similar to other sources of woody biomass. Despite the range of benefits associated with SRWC systems, their deployment has been restricted by high costs, low market acceptance associated with inconsistent chip quality (see below for further explanation), and misperceptions about other feedstock characteristics (see below for further explanation). Harvesting of SRWC is the largest single cost factor (~1/3 of the final delivered cost) in the feedstock supply system. Harvesting is also the second largest input of primary fossil energy in the system after commercial N fertilizer, accounting for about one third of the input. Therefore, improving the efficiency of the harvesting system has the potential to reduce both cost and environmental impact. At the start of this project, we projected that improving the overall efficiency of the harvesting system by 25% would reduce the delivered cost of SRWC by approximately $0.50/MMBtu (or about $7.50/dry ton). This goal was exceeded over the duration of this project, as noted below.

  8. Senior Research Connects Students with a Living Laboratory As Part of an Integrated Crop and Livestock System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Brevik, Eric C.

    2015-04-01

    Soil, water, soil microbes, and solar energy are the main sources that sustain life on this planet. Without them working in concert, neither plants nor animals would survive. Considering the efficiency of animal production targets, soil must be protected and improved. Therefore, through our sustainable integrated crop and livestock research, we are studying animal and soil interactions from the soil to the plate. Integrating beef cattle systems into a diverse cropping system is providing a living laboratory for education beyond the traditional classroom setting. To establish the living learning laboratory at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, a five-crop rotation was established that included adapted cool and warm season grasses and broadleaf crops. The crop rotation is: sunflower > hard red spring wheat > fall seeded winter triticale-hairy vetch (hay)/spring seeded 7-species cover crop > Corn (85-95 day varieties) > field pea-barley intercrop. Sunflower and spring wheat are harvested for cash crop income in the rotation. Livestock integration occurs when yearling steers that had previously grazed perennial pastures until mid-August graze field pea-barley and subsequently unharvested corn. Average grazing days for field pea-barley and unharvested corn is 30 and 70 days, respectively. At the end of the grazing period, the yearling steers average 499-544 kg and are moved to a feedlot and fed an additional 75 days until slaughter. Maximizing grazing days and extending the grazing season through integration with the cropping system reduces custom feeding costs and enhances animal profit. Beef cows do not require high quality feed after their calves have been weaned. Therefore, gestating beef cows are an ideal animal to graze cover crops and crop aftermath (residue) after yearling steer grazing and farming operations have been completed. Extending the grazing season for beef cows by grazing cover crops and residues reduces winter feed cost, which is one of the

  9. Photodegradation of bentazon, clopyralid, and triclopyr on model leaves: importance of a systematic evaluation of pesticide photostability on crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyheraguibel, Boris; Ter Halle, Alexandra; Richard, Claire

    2009-03-11

    Photolyses of three herbicides, bentazon, clopyralid, and triclopyr, were studied on plant leaves after crop treatment. The experiments were carried out on cuticular wax films, which are good models for leaf surfaces. The pure compounds and their commercial formulations were investigated under simulated solar light. At the recommended agricultural application rates, the three formulated herbicides photolyzed more rapidly on films than on soil or in water. Their photolysis is likely to be an important dissipation path from crops after treatment. The effects induced by the adjuvants in formulations were varied. Adjuvants slowed the photodegradation of bentazon slightly. In Garlon, in which triclopyr and clopyralid are combined, the adjuvants did not affect the photolysis of clopyralid even though they accelerated the rate of photolysis of triclopyr by a factor of 7. The kinetics were also affected by the application rates. This work also underscores the importance of assessing the photoreactivity of active ingredients in conditions similar to those of their application.

  10. De novo assembly of the perennial ryegrass transcriptome using an RNA-Seq strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline D Farrell

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass is a highly heterozygous outbreeding grass species used for turf and forage production. Heterozygosity can affect de-Bruijn graph assembly making de novo transcriptome assembly of species such as perennial ryegrass challenging. Creating a reference transcriptome from a homozygous perennial ryegrass genotype can circumvent the challenge of heterozygosity. The goals of this study were to perform RNA-sequencing on multiple tissues from a highly inbred genotype to develop a reference transcriptome. This was complemented with RNA-sequencing of a highly heterozygous genotype for SNP calling.De novo transcriptome assembly of the inbred genotype created 185,833 transcripts with an average length of 830 base pairs. Within the inbred reference transcriptome 78,560 predicted open reading frames were found of which 24,434 were predicted as complete. Functional annotation found 50,890 transcripts with a BLASTp hit from the Swiss-Prot non-redundant database, 58,941 transcripts with a Pfam protein domain and 1,151 transcripts encoding putative secreted peptides. To evaluate the reference transcriptome we targeted the high-affinity K+ transporter gene family and found multiple orthologs. Using the longest unique open reading frames as the reference sequence, 64,242 single nucleotide polymorphisms were found. One thousand sixty one open reading frames from the inbred genotype contained heterozygous sites, confirming the high degree of homozygosity.Our study has developed an annotated, comprehensive transcriptome reference for perennial ryegrass that can aid in determining genetic variation, expression analysis, genome annotation, and gene mapping.

  11. Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Opiyo, Francis EO; Ekaya, Wellington N; Nyariki, Dickson M; Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi

    2011-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to me...

  12. The occurrence of large branchiopod crustaceans in perennial pans ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pans are isolated, shallow depressions that are endorheic in nature. Because of the natural hydrological functioning of pans, these systems are usually restricted to arid regions and complete desiccation occurs seasonally. In the eastern provinces of South Africa many pans are perennial in nature often remaining inundated ...

  13. Date of planting and seeding rate effects on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of turnip in agro forestry compared to mono cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R. Chaichi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Agroforestry is one the aspects of sustainable agriculture in which multiple cropping of perennial trees in mixture with crops guarantees the environmental, economical and social sustainability in rural communities. High demands for forage in Northern provinces of Iran lead to agroforestry in citrus orchards as a potential mean for forage production through agroforestry systems. This research was conducted to determine the best planting date and seeding rate of turnip in agroforestry and mono cropping systems. The treatments were arranged as split factorial based on a completely randomized block design with three replications. The cropping systems (agroforestry and mono cropping were assigned to the main plots and the factorial combinations of planting dates (March 10th, March 25th, and April 9th and seeding rates (1, 2, and 4 kg seed ha-1 were randomly assigned to the subplots. The results of the experiment showed that as the seeding rate increased to 4 kg.ha-1, a significant increase (by 5% in total forage production was observed in both cropping systems. A decreasing trend in forage production was observed in latter planting dates for both cropping systems; however, this decrement in mono cropping was more severe than agroforestry system. In later planting dates the water soluble carbohydrates and forage dry matter digestibility increased but ADF decreased. The results of this experiment indicated a great potential for forage production in citrus orchards of the northern provinces of the country through agroforestry systems.

  14. Estimating legume N-2 fixation in grass-clover mixtures of a grazed organic cropping system using two N-15 methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther, F.P.; Jensen, E.S.

    2000-01-01

    The input of Nitrogen (N) through symbiotic N-2 fixation (SNF) in grass-clover mixtures was determined in an organic cropping. system for grazing during 3 years. The mixture of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) was established by undersowing in spring...... barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and maintained subsequently for two production years. Dinitrogen fixation was determined using the N-15 isotope dilution techniques and two labelling procedures. Using either pre-labelling of the soil with immobilisation of the N-15 by addition of a carbon source before...

  15. Effect of straw mulch residues of previous crop oats on the weed population in direct seeded faba bean in Organic Farming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massucati, Luiz Felipe Perrone

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Under conditions of Organic Farming, we investigated whether direct seeding of faba bean (Vicia faba L. into straw mulch from residues of precrop oats used for weed control enables at least occasional/opportunistic direct seeding in Organic Agriculture. Eight field trials were carried out at different study sites in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Direct seeding (DS was performed into mulch layers of 0,4 and 6 t ha-1 of straw residues applied to the remaining stubble, simulating different yield levels of the precrop oats. LBS was used as a reference treatment, where straw was harvested, stubble tillage performed and seedbed prepared in fall and oil radish (Raphanus sativus grown as winter cover crop. Mouldboard ploughing combined with conventional seedbed preparation was performed in early spring to V. faba. Compared with LBS, straw mulch with subsequent direct seeding suppressed especially dicotyledonous annuals significantly. DS treatments with straw reduced the abundance of this group by 81 and 85% compared with LBS. Straw mulch resulted in effective suppression of photosensitive weeds such as Matricaria spp. and late germinating Chenopodium album. Grasses and perennial species occurred independent of the amount of straw. Compared with DS, the abundance of these weeds was reduced by 64 and 82% in LBS treatment. The shoot dry matter production of faba bean was retarded by DS compared with LBS, but significant yield losses could be avoided with straw residues of at least 4 t ha-1. Sufficient amount of straw of from the previous crop is a key criterion to facilitate organic no-till farming of faba bean in a suitable crop sequence when pressure of perennials and grasses is low.

  16. Genomic prediction in families of perennial ryegrass based on genotyping-by-sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ashraf, Bilal

    In this thesis we investigate the potential for genomic prediction in perennial ryegrass using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data. Association method based on family-based breeding systems was developed, genomic heritabilities, genomic prediction accurancies and effects of some key factors wer...... explored. Results show that low sequencing depth caused underestimation of allele substitution effects in GWAS and overestimation of genomic heritability in prediction studies. Other factors susch as SNP marker density, population structure and size of training population influenced accuracy of genomic...... prediction. Overall, GBS allows for genomic prediction in breeding families of perennial ryegrass and holds good potential to expedite genetic gain and encourage the application of genomic prediction...

  17. Marker-assisted selection for improving quantitative traits of forage crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dolstra, O.; Denneboom, C.; Vos, Ab L.F. de; Loo, E.N. van

    2007-01-01

    This chapter provides an example of using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for breeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), a pasture species. A mapping study had shown the presence of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seven component traits of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The NUE-related QTL clustered in five chromosomal regions. These QTL were validated through divergent marker selection in an F 2 population. The criterion used for plant selection was a summation index based on the number of positive QTL alleles. The evaluation studies showed a strong indirect response of marker selection on NUE. Marker selection using a summation index such as applied here proved to be very effective for difficult and complex quantitative traits such as NUE. The strategy is easily applicable in outbreeding crops to raise the frequency of several desirable alleles simultaneously. (author)

  18. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in perennial grasses and shrubs in a saline-alkaline arid region, northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Pei, Zhiqin; Su, Jiaqi; Zhang, Jingli; Zheng, Yuanrun; Ni, Jian; Xiao, Chunwang; Wang, Renzhong

    2012-01-01

    Although semi-arid and arid regions account for about 40% of terrestrial surface of the Earth and contain approximately 10% of the global soil organic carbon stock, our understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics in these regions is limited. A field experiment was conducted to compare soil organic carbon dynamics between a perennial grass community dominated by Cleistogenes squarrosa and an adjacent shrub community co-dominated by Reaumuria soongorica and Haloxylon ammodendron, two typical plant life forms in arid ecosystems of saline-alkaline arid regions in northwestern China during the growing season 2010. We found that both fine root biomass and necromass in two life forms varied greatly during the growing season. Annual fine root production in the perennial grasses was 45.6% significantly higher than in the shrubs, and fine root turnover rates were 2.52 and 2.17 yr(-1) for the perennial grasses and the shrubs, respectively. Floor mass was significantly higher in the perennial grasses than in the shrubs due to the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the perennial grasses was 61.8% lower than in the shrubs even though no significance was detected in litterfall production. Soil microbial biomass and activity demonstrated a strong seasonal variation with larger values in May and September and minimum values in the dry month of July. Observed higher soil organic carbon stocks in the perennial grasses (1.32 Kg C m(-2)) than in the shrubs (1.12 Kg C m(-2)) might be attributed to both greater inputs of poor quality litter that is relatively resistant to decay and the lower ability of microorganism to decompose these organic matter. Our results suggest that the perennial grasses might accumulate more soil organic carbon with time than the shrubs because of larger amounts of inputs from litter and slower return of carbon through decomposition.

  19. Cynara cardunculus suitability as energetic crop in the south east of Spain using compost as amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lag, A.; Gómez, I.; Navarro, J.; Córdoba, P.; Bartual, J.

    2009-04-01

    Global warming demands urgent actions to reduce problems derivated from it. In this sense, fossil fuels should be replaced gradually with renewable energy sources, like energetic crops, to decrease or at least maintain CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For example, net carbon emissions from generation of a unit of bioenergy are 10 to 20 times lower than emissions from fossil fuel based generation. Compared with fossil fuels, the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks has greenhouse gas reduction potential and highly positive net energy returns because of low input demand and high yields per unit land area. In addition, conversion of degradated agricultural soils to perennial crops can improve soil quality by increasing C sequestration due to their perenniality, high biomass production, and deep root systems. For all these reasons, the aim of this study is to ascertain Cynara cardunculus sp suitability as energetic crop in the south-east of Spain, using compost as organic amendment. Five compost treatments were applied to the soil: 0 (D1), 20 (D2), 40 (D3), 60 (D4) and 80 (D5) t of compost/ha. The experiment lasted 5 months, sampling 3 times (January; April and June). Twelve Cynara Cardunculus plants were placed in each plot (4x7 m); half of them were collected at the end of the experiment. Treated sewage water was used to irrigate the crop. Organic carbon in soil and above ground biomass were studied. Dry weight yield production was between 494 (D4) to 740 kg/ha (D3). Considering that 45 to 50 % of plant dry weight matter could be assumed as carbon, carbon sequestration range from 0.8 to 1.2 t of CO2/ha for a short period of 5 months. Soil Organic carbon levels, at the end of the experiment, increased in each compost treatment compared with control value as follow: 16% (D2); 33% (D3); 43% (D4) and 73% (D5). The results show that Cynara cardunculus sp could be used as energetic crop in the south east of Spain, as it was suggested by the European Environmental Agency. However

  20. Chat (Catha edulis): a socio economic crop in Harar Region, Eastern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandari, Laxman S; Yadav, Hiranmai R; Thakur, Ashok K; Kandari, Tripti

    2014-01-01

    Chat (Catha edulis) is an important perennial crop and its leaves are chewed for a stimulating effect. It is widely cultivated in the Ethiopian highlands of Oromia region and is figured as Ethiopia's second largest foreign exchange earner. Its cultivation accounts for about 70% of farmer's income in the study area. The common effect of its consumption leads to insomnia, a condition that the users sometimes try to overcome with sedatives or alcohol. The present study is an attempt to survey and assess the impact of crop on the community. It has been observed to implicate health problems, reduces savings and nutritional standards of the family members. The chat yields in the area ranges from 1500-1800 kg/ha through monoculture. During the study, the average monthly income of the family practicing chat cultivation was from Birr 8, 533.00 to 13, 166.00 kg/ha per year in Baate and Genede cultivating areas. When the average cost per/ha was rupees 60/kg. The present study shows that during the recent past, leaf consumption has increased significantly. Chat growers are not only producers but also traders and consumers. Its consumption has become a widespread habit from secondary schools. Highest number of consumers was found to be among drivers followed by students and shopkeepers. The consumption of the plant is not considered a taboo but on contrary a status symbol in the region. It has no legal or moral implications and is considered as a part of custom and habit of local people. High value cash crop like vegetables and orchard fruits needs to be used as a replacement for chat which could be a regular source of income to farmers. Alternative sources of income for farmers needs to be scientifically worked out and proposed keeping in view the proportion of agricultural land reserved under chat cultivation and to increase the production of food grains being produced.

  1. Defoliation effects of perennial grasses – continuing confusion | DL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although an adequate knowledge of growth patterns and defoliation effects in perennial grasses is a prerequisite for the rational use of veld and pastures for animal production, our knowledge of this subject is far from adequate. The results of various physiological and clipping studies on tropical and sub-tropical grasses are ...

  2. Reconsidering the generation time hypothesis based on nuclear ribosomal ITS sequence comparisons in annual and perennial angiosperms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiz-Palacios Omar

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Differences in plant annual/perennial habit are hypothesized to cause a generation time effect on divergence rates. Previous studies that compared rates of divergence for internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2 sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA in angiosperms have reached contradictory conclusions about whether differences in generation times (or other life history features are associated with divergence rate heterogeneity. We compared annual/perennial ITS divergence rates using published sequence data, employing sampling criteria to control for possible artifacts that might obscure any actual rate variation caused by annual/perennial differences. Results Relative rate tests employing ITS sequences from 16 phylogenetically-independent annual/perennial species pairs rejected rate homogeneity in only a few comparisons, with annuals more frequently exhibiting faster substitution rates. Treating branch length differences categorically (annual faster or perennial faster regardless of magnitude with a sign test often indicated an excess of annuals with faster substitution rates. Annuals showed an approximately 1.6-fold rate acceleration in nucleotide substitution models for ITS. Relative rates of three nuclear loci and two chloroplast regions for the annual Arabidopsis thaliana compared with two closely related Arabidopsis perennials indicated that divergence was faster for the annual. In contrast, A. thaliana ITS divergence rates were sometimes faster and sometimes slower than the perennial. In simulations, divergence rate differences of at least 3.5-fold were required to reject rate constancy in > 80 % of replicates using a nucleotide substitution model observed for the combination of ITS1 and ITS2. Simulations also showed that categorical treatment of branch length differences detected rate heterogeneity > 80% of the time with a 1.5-fold or greater rate difference. Conclusion Although rate homogeneity was not rejected

  3. Limited and time-delayed internal resource allocation generates oscillations and chaos in the dynamics of citrus crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye, Xujun; Sakai, Kenshi

    2013-01-01

    Alternate bearing or masting is a yield variability phenomenon in perennial crops. The complex dynamics in this phenomenon have stimulated much ecological research. Motivated by data from an eight-year experiment with forty-eight individual trees, we explored the mechanism inherent to these dynamics in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.). By integrating high-resolution imaging technology, we found that the canopy structure and reproduction output of individual citrus crops are mutually dependent on each other. Furthermore, it was revealed that the mature leaves in early season contribute their energy to the fruiting of the current growing season, whereas the younger leaves show a delayed contribution to the next growing season. We thus hypothesized that the annual yield variability might be caused by the limited and time-delayed resource allocation in individual plants. A novel lattice model based on this hypothesis demonstrates that this pattern of resource allocation will generate oscillations and chaos in citrus yield

  4. Limited and time-delayed internal resource allocation generates oscillations and chaos in the dynamics of citrus crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ye, Xujun, E-mail: yexujun@cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp [College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058 (China); Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hirosaki University, Aomori 036-8561 (Japan); Sakai, Kenshi, E-mail: ken@cc.tuat.ac.jp [Environmental and Agricultural Engineering Department, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo 183-8509 (Japan)

    2013-12-15

    Alternate bearing or masting is a yield variability phenomenon in perennial crops. The complex dynamics in this phenomenon have stimulated much ecological research. Motivated by data from an eight-year experiment with forty-eight individual trees, we explored the mechanism inherent to these dynamics in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.). By integrating high-resolution imaging technology, we found that the canopy structure and reproduction output of individual citrus crops are mutually dependent on each other. Furthermore, it was revealed that the mature leaves in early season contribute their energy to the fruiting of the current growing season, whereas the younger leaves show a delayed contribution to the next growing season. We thus hypothesized that the annual yield variability might be caused by the limited and time-delayed resource allocation in individual plants. A novel lattice model based on this hypothesis demonstrates that this pattern of resource allocation will generate oscillations and chaos in citrus yield.

  5. Effects of contrasting catch crops on nitrogen availability and nitrous oxide emissions in an organic cropping system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Xiaoxi; Petersen, Søren O; Sørensen, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Legume-based catch crops (LBCCs) may act as an important source of nitrogen (N) in organic crop rotations because of biological N fixation. However, the potential risk of high nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions needs to be taken into account when including LBCCs in crop rotations. Here, we report...

  6. Study of radiosensitivity to gamma irradiation for some important crops in yemen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saif, A.A.; Zaid, N.M.; Malek, N.M.; Kaid, A.H.; Almaktari, A.

    2004-01-01

    Dry seeds of six wheat cultivars, one cultivar of lentil, sesame and cotton were irradiated with different doses of gamma rays and compared with untreated control of the same cultivars. Reduction of seed germination percentage with increasing radiation doses was observed over all cultivars of thr studied crops. The doses of 500, 400, 700 and 500 Gy had low percentage of germination for wheat, lentil sesame and cotton respectively. The Ld50 for Wheat, lentil, sesame and cotton seams to be 350,250,500 and 400 Gy respectively. However, varietal l radiosensitivity was found for wheat crop. The GR50 seams to be 250,200,450 and 350 for wheat, lentil, sesame cotton, respectively

  7. Floristic analysis of perennial species on flowerbeds in Belgrade with special attention on invasiveness of the recorded species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović Marija

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban areas are among the most important centres of invasive plant species distribution due to their richness in alien species. Because of that, a detailed floristic analysis of perennial flowerbeds was conducted in the central parks of Belgrade. A total of 53 perennial species were found, of which 55% were the alien species planted on 75% of the research area. Among them, two species (Aster novi belgii and Solidago canadensis are invasive and six species are potentially invasive in Serbia. These are planted on 5% and 20% of the flowerbeds, respectively. We can conclude that both the experts and institutions should be informed about the invasive species and potential damages. In the meantime, planting of native decorative species should be encouraged, since they will not pose a threat to natural habitats. Also, detailed research should be conducted in order to eradicate invasive and potentially invasive species from the surfaces around the research area.

  8. Changes of biomass in some perennial grass species. | M.C. ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Patterns of seasonal herbaceous biomass change in a burned, ungrazed savanna woodland are reported. A standard clipping technique was used and material farmed in the current season was separated from that formed in the previous season for three perennial grass species: Brachiaria nigropedata, Andropogon ...

  9. MIRCA2000—Global monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000: A new high-resolution data set for agricultural and hydrological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portmann, Felix T.; Siebert, Stefan; DöLl, Petra

    2010-03-01

    To support global-scale assessments that are sensitive to agricultural land use, we developed the global data set of monthly irrigated and rainfed crop areas around the year 2000 (MIRCA2000). With a spatial resolution of 5 arc min (about 9.2 km at the equator), MIRCA2000 provides both irrigated and rainfed crop areas of 26 crop classes for each month of the year. The data set covers all major food crops as well as cotton. Other crops are grouped into categories (perennial, annual, and fodder grasses). It represents multicropping systems and maximizes consistency with census-based national and subnational statistics. According to MIRCA2000, 25% of the global harvested areas are irrigated, with a cropping intensity (including fallow land) of 1.12, as compared to 0.84 for the sum of rainfed and irrigated harvested crops. For the dominant crops (rice (1.7 million km2 harvested area), wheat (2.1 million km2), and maize (1.5 million km2)), roughly 60%, 30%, and 20% of the harvested areas are irrigated, respectively, and half of the citrus, sugar cane, and cotton areas. While wheat and maize are the crops with the largest rainfed harvested areas (1.5 million km2 and 1.2 million km2, respectively), rice is clearly the crop with the largest irrigated harvested area (1.0 million km2), followed by wheat (0.7 million km2) and maize (0.3 million km2). Using MIRCA2000, 33% of global crop production and 44% of total cereal production were determined to come from irrigated agriculture.

  10. Heavy metals effects on forage crops yields and estimation of elements accumulation in plants as affected by soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grytsyuk, N.; Arapis, G.; Perepelyatnikova, L.; Ivanova, T.; Vynograds'ka, V.

    2006-01-01

    Heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn) effect on the productivity of forage crops (clover and perennial cereal grasses) and their accumulation in plants, depending on the concentration of these elements in a soil, has been studied in micro-field experiments on three types of soil. The principle objective was to determine regularities of heavy metals migration in a soil-plant system aiming the estimation of permissible levels of heavy metals content in soils with the following elaboration of methods, which regulate the toxicants transfer to plants. Methods of field experiments, agrochemical and atomic absorption analysis were used. Results were statistically treated by Statistica 6.0, S-Plus 6. Experimental results have shown that the intensity of heavy metals accumulation in plants depends on the type of the soil, the species of plants, the physicochemical properties of heavy metals and their content in the soil. Logarithmic interdependency of heavy metals concentration in soils and their accumulation in plants is suggested. However, the strong correlation between the different heavy metals concentrations in the various soils and the yield of crops was not observed. Toxicants accumulation in crops decreased in time

  11. Heavy metals effects on forage crops yields and estimation of elements accumulation in plants as affected by soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grytsyuk, N; Arapis, G; Perepelyatnikova, L; Ivanova, T; Vynograds'ka, V

    2006-02-01

    Heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn) effect on the productivity of forage crops (clover and perennial cereal grasses) and their accumulation in plants, depending on the concentration of these elements in a soil, has been studied in micro-field experiments on three types of soil. The principle objective was to determine regularities of heavy metals migration in a soil-plant system aiming the estimation of permissible levels of heavy metals content in soils with the following elaboration of methods, which regulate the toxicants transfer to plants. Methods of field experiments, agrochemical and atomic absorption analysis were used. Results were statistically treated by Statistica 6.0, S-Plus 6. Experimental results have shown that the intensity of heavy metals accumulation in plants depends on the type of the soil, the species of plants, the physicochemical properties of heavy metals and their content in the soil. Logarithmic interdependency of heavy metals concentration in soils and their accumulation in plants is suggested. However, the strong correlation between the different heavy metals concentrations in the various soils and the yield of crops was not observed. Toxicants accumulation in crops decreased in time.

  12. Variations in pollinator density and impacts on large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb. crop yield in Sikkim Himalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kailash S. Gaira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb., a perennial cash crop, cultivated under an agroforestry system in the eastern Himalaya of India, is well recognized as a pollination-dependent crop. Observations on pollinator abundance in Mamlay watershed of Sikkim Himalaya were collected during the blooming season to evaluate the pollinator abundance across sites and time frames, and impact of pollinator abundance on crop yield from 2010 to 2012. The results revealed that the bumblebees and honeybees are most frequent visitors of large cardamom flowers. The abundance of honeybees, however, varied between sites for the years 2010–2012, while that of bumblebees varied for the years 2011 and 2012. The abundance of honeybees resulted in a variation within time frames for 2010 and 2011, while that of bumblebees varied for 2010 and 2012 (p<0.01. The density of pollinators correlated positively with the number of flowers of the target crop. The impact of pollinator abundance revealed that the increasing bumblebee visitation resulted in a higher yield of the crop (i.e. 17–41 g/plant and the increasing abundance of all bees (21–41 g/plant was significant (p<0.03. Therefore, the study concluded that the large cardamom yield is sensitive to pollinator abundance and there is a need for adopting the best pollinator conservation and management practices toward sustaining the yield of large cardamom.

  13. Importance of genetic diversity assessment in crop plants and its recent advances: an overview of its analytical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindaraj, M; Vetriventhan, M; Srinivasan, M

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  14. Importance of Genetic Diversity Assessment in Crop Plants and Its Recent Advances: An Overview of Its Analytical Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Govindaraj

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops; (ii risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more

  15. Transcriptome Analysis in Sheepgrass (Leymus chinensis). A Dominant Perennial Grass of the Eurasian Steppe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Shuangyan [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing; Huang, Xin [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing; Yang, Xiaohan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Liu, Gongshe [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Institute of Botany (IB), Beijing

    2013-07-04

    BACKGROUND: Sheepgrass [Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel.] is an important perennial forage grass across the Eurasian Steppe and is known for its adaptability to various environmental conditions. However, insufficient data resources in public databases for sheepgrass limited our understanding of the mechanism of environmental adaptations, gene discovery and molecular marker development. RESULTS: The transcriptome of sheepgrass was sequenced using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology. We assembled 952,328 high-quality reads into 87,214 unigenes, including 32,416 contigs and 54,798 singletons. There were 15,450 contigs over 500 bp in length. BLAST searches of our database against Swiss-Prot and NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (nr) databases resulted in the annotation of 54,584 (62.6%) of the unigenes. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis assigned 89,129 GO term annotations for 17,463 unigenes. We identified 11,675 core Poaceae-specific and 12,811 putative sheepgrass-specific unigenes by BLAST searches against all plant genome and transcriptome databases. A total of 2,979 specific freezing-responsive unigenes were found from this RNAseq dataset. We identified 3,818 EST-SSRs in 3,597 unigenes, and some SSRs contained unigenes that were also candidates for freezing-response genes. Characterizations of nucleotide repeats and dominant motifs of SSRs in sheepgrass were also performed. Similarity and phylogenetic analysis indicated that sheepgrass is closely related to barley and wheat. CONCLUSIONS: This research has greatly enriched sheepgrass transcriptome resources. The identified stress-related genes will help us to decipher the genetic basis of the environmental and ecological adaptations of this species and will be used to improve wheat and barley crops through hybridization or genetic transformation. The EST-SSRs reported here will be a valuable resource for future gene-phenotype studies and for the molecular breeding of sheepgrass and other Poaceae species.

  16. Transcriptome analysis in sheepgrass (Leymus chinensis): a dominant perennial grass of the Eurasian Steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuangyan; Huang, Xin; Yan, Xueqing; Liang, Ye; Wang, Yuezhu; Li, Xiaofeng; Peng, Xianjun; Ma, Xingyong; Zhang, Lexin; Cai, Yueyue; Ma, Tian; Cheng, Liqin; Qi, Dongmei; Zheng, Huajun; Yang, Xiaohan; Li, Xiaoxia; Liu, Gongshe

    2013-01-01

    Sheepgrass [Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel.] is an important perennial forage grass across the Eurasian Steppe and is known for its adaptability to various environmental conditions. However, insufficient data resources in public databases for sheepgrass limited our understanding of the mechanism of environmental adaptations, gene discovery and molecular marker development. The transcriptome of sheepgrass was sequenced using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology. We assembled 952,328 high-quality reads into 87,214 unigenes, including 32,416 contigs and 54,798 singletons. There were 15,450 contigs over 500 bp in length. BLAST searches of our database against Swiss-Prot and NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (nr) databases resulted in the annotation of 54,584 (62.6%) of the unigenes. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis assigned 89,129 GO term annotations for 17,463 unigenes. We identified 11,675 core Poaceae-specific and 12,811 putative sheepgrass-specific unigenes by BLAST searches against all plant genome and transcriptome databases. A total of 2,979 specific freezing-responsive unigenes were found from this RNAseq dataset. We identified 3,818 EST-SSRs in 3,597 unigenes, and some SSRs contained unigenes that were also candidates for freezing-response genes. Characterizations of nucleotide repeats and dominant motifs of SSRs in sheepgrass were also performed. Similarity and phylogenetic analysis indicated that sheepgrass is closely related to barley and wheat. This research has greatly enriched sheepgrass transcriptome resources. The identified stress-related genes will help us to decipher the genetic basis of the environmental and ecological adaptations of this species and will be used to improve wheat and barley crops through hybridization or genetic transformation. The EST-SSRs reported here will be a valuable resource for future gene-phenotype studies and for the molecular breeding of sheepgrass and other Poaceae species.

  17. Alternatives to crop residues for soil amendment

    OpenAIRE

    Powell, J.M.; Unger, P.W.

    1997-01-01

    Metadata only record In semiarid agroecosystems, crop residues can provide important benefits of soil and water conservation, nutrient cycling, and improved subsequent crop yields. However, there are frequently multiple competing uses for residues, including animal forage, fuel, and construction material. This chapter discusses the various uses of crop residues and examines alternative soil amendments when crop residues cannot be left on the soil.

  18. Incomplete resistance to coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eskes, A.B.

    1983-01-01

    Incomplete resistance to coffee leaf rust ( Hemileia vastatrix ) may be of value in obtaining durable resistance, which is of great importance for the perennial coffee crop. Methods were developed to assess incomplete resistance to coffee leaf rust by using illustrated scales

  19. Epidemiology and integrated management of persistently transmitted aphid-borne viruses of legume and cereal crops in West Asia and North Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkouk, Khaled M; Kumari, Safaa G

    2009-05-01

    Cool-season food legumes (faba bean, lentil, chickpea and pea) and cereals (bread and durum wheat and barley) are the most important and widely cultivated crops in West Asia and North Africa (WANA), where they are the main source of carbohydrates and protein for the majority of the population. Persistently transmitted aphid-borne viruses pose a significant limitation to legume and cereal production worldwide. Surveys conducted in many countries in WANA during the last three decades established that the most important of these viruses are: Faba bean necrotic yellows virus (FBNYV: genus Nanovirus; family Nanoviridae), Bean leafroll virus (BLRV: genus Luteovirus; family Luteoviridae), Beet western yellows virus (BWYV: genus Polerovirus; family Luteoviridae), Soybean dwarf virus (SbDV: genus Luteovirus; family Luteoviridae) and Chickpea chlorotic stunt virus (CpCSV: genus Polerovirus; family Luteoviridae) which affect legume crops, and Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV (BYDV-PAV: genus Luteovirus; family Luteoviridae), Barley yellow dwarf virus-MAV (BYDV-MAV: genus Luteovirus; family Luteoviridae) and Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV (CYDV-RPV: genus Polerovirus; family Luteoviridae) which affect cereal crops. Loss in yield caused by these viruses is usually high when infection occurs early in the growing season. Many aphid vector species for the above-mentioned viruses are reported to be prevalent in the WANA region. In addition, in this region many wild species (annual or perennial) were found infected with these viruses and may play an important role in their ecology and spread. Fast spread of these diseases was always associated with high aphid vector populations and activity. Although virus disease management can be achieved by combining several control measures, development of resistant genotypes is undoubtedly one of the most appropriate control methods. Over the last three decades barley and wheat genotypes resistant to BYDV, faba bean genotypes resistant to BLRV, and

  20. Interference between perennial grassland and Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata seedlings: a case of spatial segregation cause by competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Ana M.; Peco, Begoña

    2004-07-01

    This paper analyses the relationship between Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata, a common Mediterranean scrub species in central Iberia, and perennial grasslands. While Lavandula gives rise to almost monospecific formations in intermediate and upper hill zones, perennial grasses occupy the low areas. The proposed explanatory hypothesis for this spatial distribution is that the scrub is unable to establish itself in grasslands with heavy spatial occupation. We designed two experiments to test this hypothesis, one which analysed the effect of perennial grass cover on Lavandula establishment, and another which focused on its influence on previously implanted seedling survival and growth, distinguishing the effect of shoot and root interference. The results show negative interference during establishment and later in the use of light and nutrients. This results in a very low overall survival probability, with only 1.4% of seedlings surviving the first growth period. This low success rate explains the existence of a clear spatial segregation between scrub patches and perennial-dominated grasslands.

  1. GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRADE POLICY EFFECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Frisvold

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Where approved, producers have adopted genetically modified (GM crops extensively. Yet, areas not adopting GM crops account for large shares of production and consumption. GM crops differ from previous agricultural innovations because consumers may perceive them as fundamentally different from (and potentially inferior to conventionally grown crops. Many countries maintain restrictions on production and importation of GM crops. GM crop adoption affects producers and consumers, not only through technological change, but also through trade policy responses. This article reviews open economy analyses of impacts of GM crops. To varying degrees, commodities are segmented into GM, conventionally grown, and organic product markets. Recent advances in trade modeling consider the consequences of market segmentation, along with consequences of GM crop import restrictions, product segregation requirements, and coexistence policies.

  2. Potential productivity of the Miscanthus energy crop in the Loess Plateau of China under climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Wei; Sang, Tao

    2013-01-01

    With a vast area of marginal land, the Loess Plateau of China is a promising region for large-scale production of second-generation energy crops. However, it remains unknown whether such production is sustainable in the long run, especially under climate change. Using a regional climate change model, PRECIS, we analyzed the impact of climate change on Miscanthus production in the Loess Plateau. Under three emission scenarios, A2, B2, and A1B, both the average yield and total area capable of supporting Miscanthus production would increase continuously in the future period (2011–2099). As a result, the total yield potential in the region would increase by about 20% in this future period from the baseline period (1961–1990). This was explained primarily by predicted increases in temperature and precipitation across the Loess Plateau, which improved the yield of the perennial C4 plants relying exclusively on rainfed production. The areas that are currently too dry or too cold to support Miscanthus production could be turned into energy crop fields, especially along the arid–semiarid transition zone. Thus the Loess Plateau would become increasingly desirable for growing second-generation energy crops in this century, which could in turn contribute to soil improvement and ecological restoration of the region. (letter)

  3. Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Navarro-Racines, Carlos; Guarino, Luigi; Flores-Palacios, Ximena; Engels, Johannes M. M.; Wiersema, John H.; Dempewolf, Hannes; Sotelo, Steven; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Fowler, Cary; Jarvis, Andy; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Struik, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

  4. Cover crops and crop residue management under no-till systems improve soils and environmental quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Wegner, Brianna; Vahyala, Ibrahim; Osborne, Shannon; Schumacher, Thomas; Lehman, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Crop residue harvest is a common practice in the Midwestern USA for the ethanol production. However, excessive removal of crop residues from the soil surface contributes to the degradation of important soil quality indicators such as soil organic carbon (SOC). Addition of a cover crop may help to mitigate these negative effects. The present study was set up to assess the impacts of corn (Zea mays L.) residue removal and cover crops on various soil quality indicators and surface greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. The study was being conducted on plots located at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (NCARL) in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Three plots of a corn and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation under a no-till (NT) system are being monitored for soils and surface gas fluxes. Each plot has three residue removal (high residue removal, HRR; medium residue removal, MRR; and low residue removal, LRR) treatments and two cover crops (cover crops and no cover crops) treatments. Both corn and soybean are represented every year. Gas flux measurements were taken weekly using a closed static chamber method. Data show that residue removal significantly impacted soil quality indicators while more time was needed for an affect from cover crop treatments to be noticed. The LRR treatment resulted in higher SOC concentrations, increased aggregate stability, and increased microbial activity. The LRR treatment also increased soil organic matter (SOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations. Cover crops used in HRR (high corn residue removal) improved SOC (27 g kg-1) by 6% compared to that without cover crops (25.4 g kg-1). Cover crops significantly impacted POM concentration directly after the residue removal treatments were applied in 2012. CO2 fluxes were observed to increase as temperature increased, while N2O fluxes increased as soil moisture increased. CH4 fluxes were responsive to both increases in temperature and moisture. On average, soils under

  5. Identifying barriers and motivators for adoption of multifunctional perennial cropping systems by landowners in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed, Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    The demand on agriculture to meet food security goals has led to intensification of management practices for annual grain crops (e.g. soybean and maize). One option for improving the long-term sustainability of agricultural practices, considering both farmer motivations and rural development needs, ...

  6. Impact of sowing density and nitrogen fertilization on Rumex obtusifolius L. development in organic winter cereal crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bodson, B.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The control of Rumex obtusifolius L. (broad-leafed dock is very important in organic farming systems. Indeed, concerns about managing this weed without the use of herbicides is one of the major factors limiting the uptake of these systems by conventional farmers. Against this background, we analyzed the impact of two management practices on the development of R. obtusifolius populations in two winter cereal trials: spelt (Triticum spelta [L.] Thell. and triticale (×Triticosecale [A.Camus] Wittm.. The management factors were sowing density (SD and nitrogen fertilization (NF at the tillering stage. The results showed that an increase in SD and NF led to stronger crop growth and better soil coverage by the end of spring, demonstrated by a significant decrease in photosynthetic active radiation (PAR at soil level. However, although there was an SD effect, it was too weak in April to restrict an increase in R. obtusifolius populations through the recruitment of new R. obtusifolius plants. An increase in R. obtusifolius population density was also linked to an increase in the NF level, illustrating the nitrophilic character of this weed. Although an increase in SD and NF at the tillering stage led to a higher canopy density, these two practices failed to reduce R. obtusifolius density in the cereal crops. Nevertheless, cereal yields were shown to be maintained or improved. Our results indicate that, even when combining weed harrowing and some cultural weed control methods, this perennial weed is difficult to control.

  7. The benefits of herbicide-resistant crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jerry M

    2012-10-01

    Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant crops, primarily glyphosate-resistant soybean, corn, cotton and canola, have helped to revolutionize weed management and have become an important tool in crop production practices. Glyphosate-resistant crops have enabled the implementation of weed management practices that have improved yield and profitability while better protecting the environment. Growers have recognized their benefits and have made glyphosate-resistant crops the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture. Weed management systems with glyphosate-resistant crops have often relied on glyphosate alone, have been easy to use and have been effective, economical and more environmentally friendly than the systems they have replaced. Glyphosate has worked extremely well in controlling weeds in glyphosate-resistant crops for more than a decade, but some key weeds have evolved resistance, and using glyphosate alone has proved unsustainable. Now, growers need to renew their weed management practices and use glyphosate with other cultural, mechanical and herbicide options in integrated systems. New multiple-herbicide-resistant crops with resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides will expand the utility of existing herbicide technologies and will be an important component of future weed management systems that help to sustain the current benefits of high-efficiency and high-production agriculture. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Starch Biosynthesis in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J. Tetlow

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Starch is a water-insoluble polyglucan synthesized inside the plastids of plant tissues to provide a store of carbohydrate. Starch harvested from plant storage organs has probably represented the major source of calories for the human diet since before the dawn of civilization. Following the advent of agriculture and the building of complex societies, humans have maintained their dependence on high-yielding domesticated starch-forming crops such as cereals to meet food demands, livestock production, and many non-food applications. The top three crops in terms of acreage are cereals, grown primarily for the harvestable storage starch in the endosperm, although many starchy tuberous crops also provide an important source of calories for various communities around the world. Despite conservation in the core structure of the starch granule, starches from different botanical sources show a high degree of variability, which is exploited in many food and non-food applications. Understanding the factors underpinning starch production and its final structure are of critical importance in guiding future crop improvement endeavours. This special issue contains reviews on these topics and is intended to be a useful resource for researchers involved in improvement of starch-storing crops.

  9. Seasonal Soil Nitrogen Mineralization within an Integrated Crop and Livestock System in Western North Dakota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landblom, Douglas; Senturklu, Songul; Cihacek, Larry; Pfenning, Lauren; Brevik, Eric C.

    2015-04-01

    Protecting natural resources while maintaining or maximizing crop yield potential is of utmost importance for sustainable crop and livestock production systems. Since soil organic matter and its decomposition by soil organisms is at the very foundation of healthy productive soils, systems research at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center is evaluating seasonal soil nitrogen fertility within an integrated crop and livestock production system. The 5-year diverse crop rotation is: sunflower (SF) - hard red spring wheat (HRSW) - fall seeded winter triticale-hairy vetch (THV; spring harvested for hay)/spring seeded 7-species cover crop (CC) - Corn (C) (85-90 day var.) - field pea-barley intercrop (PBY). The HRSW and SF are harvested as cash crops and the PBY, C, and CC are harvested by grazing cattle. In the system, yearling beef steers graze the PBY and C before feedlot entry and after weaning, gestating beef cows graze the CC. Since rotation establishment, four crop years have been harvested from the crop rotation. All crops have been seeded using a JD 1590 no-till drill except C and SF. Corn and SF were planted using a JD 7000 no-till planter. The HRSW, PBY, and CC were seeded at a soil depth of 3.8 cm and a row width of 19.1 cm. Seed placement for the C and SF crops was at a soil depth of 5.1 cm and the row spacing was 0.762 m. The plant population goal/ha for C, SF, and wheat was 7,689, 50,587, and 7,244 p/ha, respectively. During the 3rd cropping year, soil bulk density was measured and during the 4th cropping year, seasonal nitrogen fertility was monitored throughout the growing season from June to October. Seasonal nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), ammonium nitrogen (NH4-N), total season mineral nitrogen (NO3-N + NH4-N), cropping system NO3-N, and bulk density were measured in 3 replicated non-fertilized field plot areas within each 10.6 ha triple replicated crop fields. Within each plot area, 6 - 20.3 cm x 0.61 m aluminum irrigation

  10. Acclimation of bloom-forming and perennial seaweeds to elevated pCO2 conserved across levels of environmental complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dong; Schaum, Charlotte-Elisa; Lin, Fan; Sun, Ke; Munroe, James R; Zhang, Xiao W; Fan, Xiao; Teng, Lin H; Wang, Yi T; Zhuang, Zhi M; Ye, Naihao

    2017-11-01

    Macroalgae contribute approximately 15% of the primary productivity in coastal marine ecosystems, fix up to 27.4 Tg of carbon per year, and provide important structural components for life in coastal waters. Despite this ecological and commercial importance, direct measurements and comparisons of the short-term responses to elevated pCO 2 in seaweeds with different life-history strategies are scarce. Here, we cultured several seaweed species (bloom forming/nonbloom forming/perennial/annual) in the laboratory, in tanks in an indoor mesocosm facility, and in coastal mesocosms under pCO 2 levels ranging from 400 to 2,000 μatm. We find that, across all scales of the experimental setup, ephemeral species of the genus Ulva increase their photosynthesis and growth rates in response to elevated pCO 2 the most, whereas longer-lived perennial species show a smaller increase or a decrease. These differences in short-term growth and photosynthesis rates are likely to give bloom-forming green seaweeds a competitive advantage in mixed communities, and our results thus suggest that coastal seaweed assemblages in eutrophic waters may undergo an initial shift toward communities dominated by bloom-forming, short-lived seaweeds. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Cultivar by environment effects of perennial ryegrass cultivars selected for high water soluble carbohydrates managed under differing precipitation levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historic results of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) breeding include improved disease resistance, biomass, and nutritional quality. Yet, lack of tolerance to water stress limits its wise use. Recent efforts to increase water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content in perennial ryegrass may incre...

  12. Crop damage by primates: quantifying the key parameters of crop-raiding events.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham E Wallace

    Full Text Available Human-wildlife conflict often arises from crop-raiding, and insights regarding which aspects of raiding events determine crop loss are essential when developing and evaluating deterrents. However, because accounts of crop-raiding behaviour are frequently indirect, these parameters are rarely quantified or explicitly linked to crop damage. Using systematic observations of the behaviour of non-human primates on farms in western Uganda, this research identifies number of individuals raiding and duration of raid as the primary parameters determining crop loss. Secondary factors include distance travelled onto farm, age composition of the raiding group, and whether raids are in series. Regression models accounted for greater proportions of variation in crop loss when increasingly crop and species specific. Parameter values varied across primate species, probably reflecting differences in raiding tactics or perceptions of risk, and thereby providing indices of how comfortable primates are on-farm. Median raiding-group sizes were markedly smaller than the typical sizes of social groups. The research suggests that key parameters of raiding events can be used to measure the behavioural impacts of deterrents to raiding. Furthermore, farmers will benefit most from methods that discourage raiding by multiple individuals, reduce the size of raiding groups, or decrease the amount of time primates are on-farm. This study demonstrates the importance of directly relating crop loss to the parameters of raiding events, using systematic observations of the behaviour of multiple primate species.

  13. Crop Damage by Primates: Quantifying the Key Parameters of Crop-Raiding Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Graham E.; Hill, Catherine M.

    2012-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict often arises from crop-raiding, and insights regarding which aspects of raiding events determine crop loss are essential when developing and evaluating deterrents. However, because accounts of crop-raiding behaviour are frequently indirect, these parameters are rarely quantified or explicitly linked to crop damage. Using systematic observations of the behaviour of non-human primates on farms in western Uganda, this research identifies number of individuals raiding and duration of raid as the primary parameters determining crop loss. Secondary factors include distance travelled onto farm, age composition of the raiding group, and whether raids are in series. Regression models accounted for greater proportions of variation in crop loss when increasingly crop and species specific. Parameter values varied across primate species, probably reflecting differences in raiding tactics or perceptions of risk, and thereby providing indices of how comfortable primates are on-farm. Median raiding-group sizes were markedly smaller than the typical sizes of social groups. The research suggests that key parameters of raiding events can be used to measure the behavioural impacts of deterrents to raiding. Furthermore, farmers will benefit most from methods that discourage raiding by multiple individuals, reduce the size of raiding groups, or decrease the amount of time primates are on-farm. This study demonstrates the importance of directly relating crop loss to the parameters of raiding events, using systematic observations of the behaviour of multiple primate species. PMID:23056378

  14. Simple weighing lysimeters for measuring reference and crop evapotranspiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowledge of cotton crop evapotranspiration is important in scheduling irrigations, optimizing crop production, and modeling evapotranspiration and crop growth. The ability to measure, estimate, and predict evapotranspiration and cotton crop water requirements can result in better satisfying the cr...

  15. Genetic markers for flowering in perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paina, Cristiana; Byrne, Stephen; Andersen, Jeppe Reitan

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is the principal forage grass utilized in Danish agriculture and underpins the beef and dairy sectors. It is characterized as having high digestibility, high nutritional value, and high productivity during vegetative growth. However, at the reproductive growth...... genes will be converted to molecular markers and mapped in an existing mapping population previously characterized for flowering time and vernalization response. References: Amasino, R.M., Michaels S.D. (2010). The Timing of Flowering. Plant Physiology 154: 516–520 Greenup, A., W. Peacock, W.J., Dennis...

  16. The effects of perennial ryegrass and alfalfa on microbial abundance and diversity in petroleum contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirk, Jennifer L.; Klironomos, John N.; Lee, Hung; Trevors, Jack T.

    2005-01-01

    Enhanced rhizosphere degradation uses plants to stimulate the rhizosphere microbial community to degrade organic contaminants. We measured changes in microbial communities caused by the addition of two species of plants in a soil contaminated with 31,000 ppm of total petroleum hydrocarbons. Perennial ryegrass and/or alfalfa increased the number of rhizosphere bacteria in the hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. These plants also increased the number of bacteria capable of petroleum degradation as estimated by the most probable number (MPN) method. Eco-Biolog plates did not detect changes in metabolic diversity between bulk and rhizosphere samples but denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of PCR-amplified partial 16S rDNA sequences indicated a shift in the bacterial community in the rhizosphere samples. Dice coefficient matrices derived from DGGE profiles showed similarities between the rhizospheres of alfalfa and perennial ryegrass/alfalfa mixture in the contaminated soil at week seven. Perennial ryegrass and perennial ryegrass/alfalfa mixture caused the greatest change in the rhizosphere bacterial community as determined by DGGE analysis. We concluded that plants altered the microbial population; these changes were plant-specific and could contribute to degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soil. - Plant-specific changes in microbial populations on roots affect degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soil

  17. Farming strategies to feed people, facilitate essential soil services, and fuel the economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perennial cellulosic biomass and food crop residues are important on-farm resources, which have become potential valuable sources of income as a harvestable commodity contributing to biofuel production demands. Inputs of carbon embedded in above-ground plant biomass are a key biological energy sourc...

  18. Management of crop residues for sustainable crop production. Results of a co-ordinated research project 1996-2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-05-01

    Since ancient times, farmers have recognized the importance of organic matter inputs to enhance crop yields. Organic matter contributes to plant growth through beneficial effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil, including (i) provision of a carbon and energy source for soil microbes, (ii) improvement of soil aggregation, thus reducing the hazard of erosion, (iii) retaining of nutrients and water, (iv) provision of nutrients through decomposition, and (v) reduction of soil compaction. The amount of soil organic matter is controlled by the balance between additions of plant and animal materials and losses by decomposition. Both additions and losses are directly affected by management practices. This CRP supported national efforts in eleven Member States to identify options managing crop residues for sustainable agricultural production and environmental preservation in a wide range of soils and cropping systems. Various options for the recycling of crop residues that are sustainable and economically attractive to farmers were examined using isotopic techniques. The specific options of this CRP were: to increase the quantity of nutrients available to crops from organic sources and for more effective recycling of those nutrients; to enhance the efficiency of use of nutrients by crops, and minimize losses through improved synchrony between process-level understanding of carbon and nutrient flow through the use of isotopic techniques so that management recommendations can be extrapolated to a wide range of environments using models. A simple mathematical model, descriptive in nature, was developed to synthesize information collected from all experimental sites, allowing comparisons between treatments and sites. Most of the fertilizer N was lost during the first cropping season and only insignificant losses occurred in the following seasons. The losses of N from applied fertilizer ranged from 45 to 85% irrespective of crop

  19. Impacts of crop insurance on water withdrawals for irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deryugina, Tatyana; Konar, Megan

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural production remains particularly vulnerable to weather fluctuations and extreme events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves. Crop insurance is a risk management tool developed to mitigate some of this weather risk and protect farmer income in times of poor production. However, crop insurance may have unintended consequences for water resources sustainability, as the vast majority of freshwater withdrawals go to agriculture. The causal impact of crop insurance on water use in agriculture remains poorly understood. Here, we determine the empirical relationship between crop insurance and irrigation water withdrawals in the United States. Importantly, we use an instrumental variables approach to establish causality. Our methodology exploits a major policy change in the crop insurance system - the 1994 Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act - which imposed crop insurance requirements on farmers. We find that a 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.223% increase in irrigation withdrawals, with most coming from groundwater aquifers. We identify farmers growing more groundwater-fed cotton as an important mechanism contributing to increased withdrawals. A 1% increase in insured crop acreage leads to a 0.624% increase in cotton acreage, or 95,602 acres. These results demonstrate that crop insurance causally leads to more irrigation withdrawals. More broadly, this work underscores the importance of determining causality in the water-food nexus as we endeavor to achieve global food security and water resources sustainability.

  20. N{sub 2}O Emission from energy crop fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joergensen, B.J. [The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural Univ., Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Section of Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition (Denmark); Nyholm Joergensen, R. [Research Centre Foulum, The Danish Inst. of Plant and Soil Science, Dept. of Soil Science (Denmark)

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N{sub 2}O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N{sub 2}O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO{sub 2}. The contribution of N{sub 2}O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N{sub 2}O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N{sub 2}O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N{sub 2}O flux from a Miscanthus 'Giganteus' (M. 'Giganteus') and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N{sub 2}O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N{sub 2}O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N{sub 2}O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N{sub 2}O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N{sub 2}O ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} compared to a total CO{sub 2} reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} using the energy crops as substitution for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N{sub 2}O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the

  1. N{sub 2}O Emission from energy crop fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joergensen, B.J. [The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural Univ., Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Section of Soil, Water and Plant Nutrition (Denmark); Nyholm Joergensen, R. [Research Centre Foulum, The Danish Inst. of Plant and Soil Science, Dept. of Soil Science (Denmark)

    1996-03-01

    The interest in N{sub 2}O emissions from soils with energy crops is a results of its properties as a greenhouse gas, since the global warming potential of N{sub 2}O per unit mass is about 320 times greater than CO{sub 2}. The contribution of N{sub 2}O from the soil to the atmosphere may increase due to agricultural management. Consequently, large N{sub 2}O emissions can lower the reduction of the greenhouse effect achieved by the substitution of fossil fuels by energy crops. For this reason it is crucial to find the crops for combustion with the lowest potential for emission of N{sub 2}O from the soil per produced energy unit. The aims of this study were to assess the annual N{sub 2}O flux from a Miscanthus `Giganteus` (M. `Giganteus`) and winter rye (Secale cereale) field, and to investigate the factors affecting the N{sub 2}O emission. To obtain these aims a method was developed for measurements in tall crops. The thesis contains a literature review on the N{sub 2}O emission from the soils, a section with development of the technique for N{sub 2}O flux measurements, and an experimental section. Finally, the thesis contains a section where the results are discussed in relation to the use of energy crops. In all the filed studies, the N{sub 2}O emission was measured by using a new developed closed-chamber technique. The main advantages of the chamber method were the ability to contain growing plants up to a height of 3 m, and the relatively large area (2X2m) covered by each other. Soils with annual and perennial crops can be expected to emit less then 3 kg N{sub 2}O ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}. This amount corresponds to 960 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} compared to a total CO{sub 2} reduction of 10 to 19 tons CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} using the energy crops as substituion for fossil fuels. An efficient way to reduce the N{sub 2}O emission is to exclude use of fertiliser but this also reduces the dry matter yield and consequently also the CO{sub 2} reduction

  2. Rhetorical Transcendence Revisited: The "Thin Red Line" as Perennial Philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Scott R.

    Fifteen years ago, J. H. Rushing published a seminal article addressing the fragmentation within contemporary society and the ways in which myths (films) may address this exigence. The exigence of fragmentation is relieved, according to her analysis, by mediated recourse to the perennial philosophy of monistic holism that is found across the…

  3. Crop–weed competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gallandt, Eric R.; Weiner, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    importantly, weed density and time of emergence relative to the crop. Practices that (1) reduce the density of weeds, (2) maximise occupation of space or uptake of resources by the crop or (3) establish an early-season size advantage of the crop over the weeds will minimise the competitive effects of weeds...... on crops. Longer term management of crop–weed competition can be achieved through crop rotations, specifically crop sequences that reduce the weed seed bank, and therefore seedling density, and prevent proliferation of perennial weeds. Key ConceptsKey Concepts * Plant growth requires sunlight, water...... an early-season competitive advantage to the crop and (3) maximising resource capture by the crop using competitive species, competitive cultivars, high sowing densities, optimal spatial arrangement, intercropping complimentary species or transplanting....

  4. Crop 3D-a LiDAR based platform for 3D high-throughput crop phenotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qinghua; Wu, Fangfang; Pang, Shuxin; Zhao, Xiaoqian; Chen, Linhai; Liu, Jin; Xue, Baolin; Xu, Guangcai; Li, Le; Jing, Haichun; Chu, Chengcai

    2018-03-01

    With the growing population and the reducing arable land, breeding has been considered as an effective way to solve the food crisis. As an important part in breeding, high-throughput phenotyping can accelerate the breeding process effectively. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is an active remote sensing technology that is capable of acquiring three-dimensional (3D) data accurately, and has a great potential in crop phenotyping. Given that crop phenotyping based on LiDAR technology is not common in China, we developed a high-throughput crop phenotyping platform, named Crop 3D, which integrated LiDAR sensor, high-resolution camera, thermal camera and hyperspectral imager. Compared with traditional crop phenotyping techniques, Crop 3D can acquire multi-source phenotypic data in the whole crop growing period and extract plant height, plant width, leaf length, leaf width, leaf area, leaf inclination angle and other parameters for plant biology and genomics analysis. In this paper, we described the designs, functions and testing results of the Crop 3D platform, and briefly discussed the potential applications and future development of the platform in phenotyping. We concluded that platforms integrating LiDAR and traditional remote sensing techniques might be the future trend of crop high-throughput phenotyping.

  5. Diverse effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jianmin; Yu, Deyong; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Yupeng

    2018-06-01

    Both crop distribution and climate change are important drivers for crop production and can affect food security, which is an important requirement for sustainable development. However, their effects on crop production are confounded and warrant detailed investigation. As a key area for food production that is sensitive to climate change, the agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) plays a significant role in regional food security. To investigate the respective effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, the well-established GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted with different scenario designs in this study. From 1980 to 2010, the crop distribution for wheat, maize, and rice witnessed a dramatic change due to agricultural policy adjustments and ecological engineering-related construction in the APTZ. At the same time, notable climate change was observed. The simulation results indicated that the climate change had a positive impact on the crop production of wheat, maize, and rice, while the crop distribution change led to an increase in the production of maize and rice, but a decrease in the wheat production. Comparatively, crop distribution change had a larger impact on wheat (-1.71 × 106 t) and maize (8.53 × 106 t) production, whereas climate change exerted a greater effect on rice production (0.58 × 106 t), during the period from 1980 to 2010 in the APTZ. This study is helpful to understand the mechanism of the effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, and aid policy makers in reducing the threat of future food insecurity.

  6. Diverse effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Jianmin; Yu, Deyong; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Yupeng

    2017-07-01

    Both crop distribution and climate change are important drivers for crop production and can affect food security, which is an important requirement for sustainable development. However, their effects on crop production are confounded and warrant detailed investigation. As a key area for food production that is sensitive to climate change, the agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) plays a significant role in regional food security. To investigate the respective effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, the well-established GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was adopted with different scenario designs in this study. From 1980 to 2010, the crop distribution for wheat, maize, and rice witnessed a dramatic change due to agricultural policy adjustments and ecological engineering-related construction in the APTZ. At the same time, notable climate change was observed. The simulation results indicated that the climate change had a positive impact on the crop production of wheat, maize, and rice, while the crop distribution change led to an increase in the production of maize and rice, but a decrease in the wheat production. Comparatively, crop distribution change had a larger impact on wheat (-1.71 × 106 t) and maize (8.53 × 106 t) production, whereas climate change exerted a greater effect on rice production (0.58 × 106 t), during the period from 1980 to 2010 in the APTZ. This study is helpful to understand the mechanism of the effects of crop distribution and climate change on crop production, and aid policy makers in reducing the threat of future food insecurity.

  7. GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS: INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TRADE POLICY EFFECTS

    OpenAIRE

    George Frisvold; Jeanne Reeves

    2015-01-01

    Where approved, producers have adopted genetically modified (GM) crops extensively. Yet, areas not adopting GM crops account for large shares of production and consumption. GM crops differ from previous agricultural innovations because consumers may perceive them as fundamentally different from (and potentially inferior to) conventionally grown crops. Many countries maintain restrictions on production and importation of GM crops. GM crop adoption affects producers and consumers, not only thro...

  8. Determination of Water Requirement and Crop Coefficient for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Knowledge of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), the combined process of evaporation and plant transpiration, is important in agriculture for scheduling farm operations and designing and managing irrigation and drainage systems. Development of crop coefficient (Kc) can enhance crop evapotranspiration (ETc) estimates in ...

  9. Estimation of paddy water temperature during crop development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Centeno, H.G.S.; Horie, T.

    1996-01-01

    The crop meristem is in direct contact with paddy water during crop's vegetative stage. Ambient air temperature becomes an important factor in crop development only when internodes elongate sufficiently for the meristem to rise above the water surface. This does not occur until after panicle initiation. Crop growth at vegetative stage is affected more by water temperature than the most commonly measured air temperature. During transplanting in 1992 dry season, the maximum paddy water temperature was 10 deg C higher than the maximum air temperature. For rice crop models, the development of a submodel to estimate water temperature is important to account the effect of paddy water temperature on plant growth. Paddy water temperature is estimated from mean air temperature, solar radiation, and crop canopy. The parameters of the model were derived using the simplex method on data from the 1993 wet- and dry-season field experiments at IRRI

  10. Agriculture and crop science in China:Innovation and sustainability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan

    2017-01-01

    The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held on August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme "Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability". As a companion production for this great congress, the nine papers collected in this special issue feature important fields of crop science in China. This editorial first briefly introduces the 7th ICSC, followed by a brief discussion of the current status of, constraints to, and innovations in Chinese agriculture and crop science. Finally, the main scientific points of the papers published in this special issue are surveyed, covering important advances in hybrid rice breeding, minor cereals, food legumes, rapeseed, crop systems, crop management, cotton, genomics-based germplasm research, and QTL mapping. In a section describing future prospects, it is indicated that China faces a full transition from traditional to modern agriculture and crop science.

  11. Effect of resource conserving techniques on crop productivity in rice-wheat cropping system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, R.A.; Munir, M.; Haqqani, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    Rice-wheat cropping system is the most important one in Pakistan. The system provides food and livelihood for more than 15 million people in the country. The productivity of the system is much lower than the potential yields of both rice and wheat crops. With the traditional methods, rice-wheat system is not a profitable one to many farmers. Hence, Cost of cultivation must be reduced and at the same time, efficiency of resources like irrigation water, fuel, and fertilizers must be improved to make the crop production system more viable and eco- friendly. Resource conserving technology (RCT) must figure highly in this equation, since they play a major role in achieving the above goals. The RCT include laser land leveling, zero-tillage, bed furrow irrigation method and crop residue management. These technologies were evaluated in irrigated areas of Punjab where rice follows wheat. The results showed that paddy yield was not affected by the new methods. Direct seeding of rice crop saved irrigation water by 13% over the conventionally planted crop. Weeds were the major problem indirect seeded crop, which could be eliminated through cultural, mechanical and chemical means. Wheat crop on beds produced the highest yield but cost of production was minimum in the zero-till wheat crop. Planting of wheat on raised beds in making headway in low- lying and poorly drained areas. Thus, resource conserving tillage technology provides a tool for making progress towards improving and sustaining wheat production system, helping with food security and poverty alleviation in Pakistan in the next few decades. (author)

  12. Emerging Viral Diseases of Tomato Crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hanssen, I.M.; Lapidot, M.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Viral diseases are an important limiting factor in many crop production systems. Because antiviral products are not available, control strategies rely on genetic resistance or hygienic measures to prevent viral diseases, or on eradication of diseased crops to control such diseases. Increasing

  13. Cover crop and CO2 emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural land management practices account for about 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss. Restoring SOC is important to soil productivity and fertility. Management strategies to rebuild SOC include addition of manure or other organic amendments, increasing root biomass from crops, leaving crop...

  14. Impacts of nitrogen fertilization and plant species diversity on soil C accumulation in a lignocellulosic bioenergy cropping system nine years following land conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Graaff, M. A.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2017-12-01

    Ethanol production from second generation biofuel feedstocks, including the perennial grasses switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) has expanded rapidly, with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, land conversion for bioenergy production releases carbon (C) stored in soil to the atmosphere as CO2, and creates a C debt in ecosystems. If biofuels are to aid in curbing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, it is important that this initial C debt be repaid rapidly. A variety of management approaches aimed at increasing NPP and soil C input may be used to accelerate the repayment of soil C. We conducted a long-term field experiment located at the Fermilab National Environmental Research Park in IL, that compares a variety of approaches for perennial feedstock production following conversion of an old-field dominated by C3 grasses to a grassland dominated by C4 perennial grasses. Treatments included a variety of big bluestem and switchgrass cultivars grown in monoculture, diversity manipulated at both the species- and cultivar level, and nitrogen (N) applied at two levels (0 and 67 kg/ha). Previous results from this experiment indicated that four years following initiation of this experiment, only choice of plant species significantly affected the rate of bulk soil C-debt repayment. Here we quantified how nine years of fertilization, plant species, and inter- and intra-specific diversity treatments affect soil C accumulation. To increase our detection of changes in soil C and our mechanistic understanding of the processes that drive C accumulation in this experiment, we used the natural abundance C isotope ratio technique to estimate the contribution and fate of root-derived C to soil organic matter pools. Additionally, we evaluated how the different management approaches affected the ecological sustainability of bioenergy production, by quantifying impacts of the treatments on soil micro-and meso fauna abundance and diversity

  15. Perennial ryegrass for dairy cows: Intake, milk production and nitrogen utilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tas, B.M.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords: perennial ryegrass, dairy cows, intake, digestibility milk production, nitrogen utilisation.In the Netherlands, grass is one of the main roughages in the diet of high productive dairy cows. Grass is associated with two main problems: the limited dry matter intake (DMI)

  16. Genetic diversity in a crop metapopulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heerwaarden, van J.; Eeuwijk, van F.A.; Ross-Ibarra, J.

    2010-01-01

    The need to protect crop genetic resources has sparked a growing interest in the genetic diversity maintained in traditional farming systems worldwide. Although traditional seed management has been proposed as an important determinant of genetic diversity and structure in crops, no models exist that

  17. Nitrogen Nutrition of Fruit Trees to Reconcile Productivity and Environmental Concerns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranca, Corina; Brunetto, Gustavo; Tagliavini, Massimo

    2018-01-10

    Although perennial fruit crops represent 1% of global agricultural land, they are of a great economic importance in world trade and in the economy of many regions. The perennial woody nature of fruit trees, their physiological stages of growth, the root distribution pattern, and the presence of herbaceous vegetation in alleys make orchard systems efficient in the use and recycling of nitrogen (N). The present paper intends to review the existing literature on N nutrition of young and mature deciduous and evergreen fruit trees with special emphasis to temperate and Mediterranean climates. There are two major sources of N contributing to vegetative tree growth and reproduction: root N uptake and internal N cycling. Optimisation of the use of external and internal N sources is important for a sustainable fruit production, as N use efficiency by young and mature fruit trees is generally lower than 55% and losses of fertilizer N may occur with the consequent economic and environmental concern. Organic alternatives to mineral N fertilizer like the application of manure, compost, mulching, and cover crops are scarcely used in perennial fruit trees, in spite of the fact that society's expectations call for more sustainable production techniques and the demand for organic fruits is increasing.

  18. PERENNIAL HELIANTHUS TAXA IN TÂRGU-MURES CITY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FILEP RITA

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Although in the neighbouring countries several perennial Helianthus taxa have been recorded in the last decade, in Romania only three have been identified so far. The literature and herbaria data of Târgu-Mures date back to the end of the XIXth century, and only refer to H. × multiflorus and H. tuberosus. The aim of this study was to identify the perennial Helianthus taxa in this region and to prepare their current distribution map. The survey was conducted in Târgu Mures city and the neighbouring villages: Livezeni, Sântana de Mures, Sâncraiu de Mures, Sângeorgiu de Mures, and Corunca. Four taxa were identified: H. pauciflorus Nutt., H. × laetiflorus Pers., H. tuberosus L. s.str., and Helianthus tuberosus L. s.l. The first two taxa are cultivated as ornamental plants, H. tuberosus s. str. is cultivated in a few farms, whereas H. tuberosus s. l. is an invasive species that spreads along the rivers.

  19. Looking forward to genetically edited fruit crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamangala Kanchiswamy, Chidananda; Sargent, Daniel James; Velasco, Riccardo; Maffei, Massimo E; Malnoy, Mickael

    2015-02-01

    The availability of genome sequences for many fruit crops has redefined the boundaries of genetic engineering and genetically modified (GM) crop plants. However commercialization of GM crops is hindered by numerous regulatory and social hurdles. Here, we focus on recently developed genome-editing tools for fruit crop improvement and their importance from the consumer perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the deployment of new genome-editing tools for fruit plants are also discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Proteomics Sample Preparation Method for Mature, Recalcitrant Leaves of Perennial Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Zhang; Chengying, Lao; Bo, Wang; Dingxiang, Peng; Lijun, Liu

    2014-01-01

    Sample preparation is key to the success of proteomics studies. In the present study, two sample preparation methods were tested for their suitability on the mature, recalcitrant leaves of six representative perennial plants (grape, plum, pear, peach, orange, and ramie). An improved sample preparation method was obtained: Tris and Triton X-100 were added together instead of CHAPS to the lysis buffer, and a 20% TCA-water solution and 100% precooled acetone were added after the protein extraction for the further purification of protein. This method effectively eliminates nonprotein impurities and obtains a clear two-dimensional gel electrophoresis array. The method facilitates the separation of high-molecular-weight proteins and increases the resolution of low-abundance proteins. This method provides a widely applicable and economically feasible technology for the proteomic study of the mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants. PMID:25028960

  1. A proteomics sample preparation method for mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Gang

    Full Text Available Sample preparation is key to the success of proteomics studies. In the present study, two sample preparation methods were tested for their suitability on the mature, recalcitrant leaves of six representative perennial plants (grape, plum, pear, peach, orange, and ramie. An improved sample preparation method was obtained: Tris and Triton X-100 were added together instead of CHAPS to the lysis buffer, and a 20% TCA-water solution and 100% precooled acetone were added after the protein extraction for the further purification of protein. This method effectively eliminates nonprotein impurities and obtains a clear two-dimensional gel electrophoresis array. The method facilitates the separation of high-molecular-weight proteins and increases the resolution of low-abundance proteins. This method provides a widely applicable and economically feasible technology for the proteomic study of the mature, recalcitrant leaves of perennial plants.

  2. Rethinking Bioenergy from an Agricultural Perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shortall, Orla

    The aim of this project is to explore the social and ethical dimensions of the agricultural production of perennial energy crop and crop residues for energy. Biomass – any living or recently living matter – is being promoted in industrialised countries as part of the transition from fossil fuels...... agriculture including the biorefinery strategy; multifunctional perennial energy crop production on environmentally marginal land; and ecologically integrated multipurpose biomass production through agroforestry production. There is also an argument which cuts across the paradigms and maintains...

  3. Improving the Yield and Nutritional Quality of Forage Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola M. Capstaff

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite being some of the most important crops globally, there has been limited research on forages when compared with cereals, fruits, and vegetables. This review summarizes the literature highlighting the significance of forage crops, the current improvements and some of future directions for improving yield and nutritional quality. We make the point that the knowledge obtained from model plant and grain crops can be applied to forage crops. The timely development of genomics and bioinformatics together with genome editing techniques offer great scope to improve forage crops. Given the social, environmental and economic importance of forage across the globe and especially in poorer countries, this opportunity has enormous potential to improve food security and political stability.

  4. Water relations of woody perennial plant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth A. Shackel

    2007-09-01

    Significance and impact of study: SWP as a standard method for quantifying water stress in grapevine and other crops will aid research in the development of reliable management practices to improve crop productivity and quality.

  5. Addressing crop interactions within cropping systems in LCA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goglio, Pietro; Brankatschk, Gerhard; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman

    2018-01-01

    objectives of this discussion article are as follows: (i) to discuss the characteristics of cropping systems which might affect the LCA methodology, (ii) to discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of the current available methods for the life-cycle assessment of cropping systems, and (iii) to offer...... management and emissions, and (3) functional unit issues. The LCA approaches presented are as follows: cropping system, allocation approaches, crop-by-crop approach, and combined approaches. The various approaches are described together with their advantages and disadvantages, applicability...... considers cropping system issues if they are related to multiproduct and nutrient cycling, while the crop-by-crop approach is highly affected by assumptions and considers cropping system issues only if they are related to the analyzed crop. Conclusions Each LCA approach presents advantages and disadvantages...

  6. Mining of expressed sequence tag libraries of cacao

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) provide researchers with a quick and inexpensive route for discovering new genes, data on gene expression and regulation, and also provide genic markers that help in constructing genome maps. Cacao is an important perennial crop of humid tropics. Cacao EST sequences, as available ...

  7. Long-term Miscanthus Yields Influenced by Location, Genotype, Row Distance, Fertilization and Harvest Season

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugilt Larsen, Søren; Jørgensen, Uffe; Kjeldsen, Jens Bonderup

    2014-01-01

    Long-term yield studies in perennial crops like miscanthus are important to determine mean annual energy yield and the farmer’s economy. In two Danish field trials, annual yield of two miscanthus genotypes was followed over a 20-year period. The trials were established in 1993 on loamy sand...

  8. Advancing the climate data driven crop-modeling studies in the dry areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon: an important first step for assessing impact of future climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Prakash N; Telleria, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Inter-annual and seasonal variability in climatic parameters, most importantly rainfall, have potential to cause climate-induced risk in long-term crop production. Short-term field studies do not capture the full nature of such risk and the extent to which modifications to crop, soil and water management recommendations may be made to mitigate the extent of such risk. Crop modeling studies driven by long-term daily weather data can predict the impact of climate-induced risk on crop growth and yield however, the availability of long-term daily weather data can present serious constraints to the use of crop models. To tackle this constraint, two weather generators namely, LARS-WG and MarkSim, were evaluated in order to assess their capabilities of reproducing frequency distributions, means, variances, dry spell and wet chains of observed daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature, and solar radiation for the eight locations across cropping areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon. Further, the application of generated long-term daily weather data, with both weather generators, in simulating barley growth and yield was also evaluated. We found that overall LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters and in 50 years continuous simulation of barley growth and yield. Our findings suggest that LARS-WG does not necessarily require long-term e.g., >30 years observed weather data for calibration as generated results proved to be satisfactory with >10 years of observed data except in area with higher altitude. Evaluating these weather generators and the ability of generated weather data to perform long-term simulation of crop growth and yield is an important first step to assess the impact of future climate on yields, and to identify promising technologies to make agricultural systems more resilient in the given region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Historical effects of temperature and precipitation on California crop yields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobell, D.B. [Energy and Environment Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550 (United States); Cahill, K.N. [Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Field, C.B. [Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)

    2007-03-15

    For the 1980-2003 period, we analyzed the relationship between crop yield and three climatic variables (minimum temperature, maximum temperature, and precipitation) for 12 major Californian crops: wine grapes, lettuce, almonds, strawberries, table grapes, hay, oranges, cotton, tomatoes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. The months and climatic variables of greatest importance to each crop were used to develop regressions relating yield to climatic conditions. For most crops, fairly simple equations using only 2-3 variables explained more than two-thirds of observed yield variance. The types of variables and months identified suggest that relatively poorly understood processes such as crop infection, pollination, and dormancy may be important mechanisms by which climate influences crop yield. Recent climatic trends have had mixed effects on crop yields, with orange and walnut yields aided, avocado yields hurt, and most crops little affected by recent climatic trends. Yield-climate relationships can provide a foundation for forecasting crop production within a year and for projecting the impact of future climate changes.

  10. The Crop Journal: A new scientific journal for the global crop science community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Wan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available As global population increases and demands for food supplies become greater, we face great challenges in providing more products and in larger quantities from less arable land. Crop science has gained increasing importance in meeting these challenges and results of scientific research must be communicated worldwide on a regular basis. In many countries, however, crop scientists have to publish the results of their investigations in national journals with heterogeneous contents and in their native languages. As a consequence, valuable work often remains unknown to scientists elsewhere. As a big country with a large number of crop scientists, China has a wide range of climatic and ecological environments, diverse plant species and cropping systems, and different regional needs for food supplies, which justify the recent decision by the Crop Science Society of China and the Institute of Crop Science within the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, to launch a new communication channel, The Crop Journal. The goal of The Crop Journal is to meet an urgent need for a major Asia-based journal that covers the diverse fields of crop science. Our aim is to create a vital and thought-provoking journal that will highlight state-of-the-art original work and reviews by high-profile crop scientists and investigative groups throughout the world — a journal that will respond to the needs of specialists in strategic crop research. We will work with scientific and publishing colleagues worldwide, using The Plant Journal and Crop Science as models, to establish The Crop Journal as a broadly based high quality journal and a premier forum for issues in crop science. The Crop Journal will cover a wide range of topics, including crop genetics, breeding, agronomy, crop physiology, germplasm resources, grain chemistry, grain storage and processing, crop management practices, crop biotechnology, and biomathematics. The journal also encourages the submission of review

  11. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant's root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition. © 2015 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. Nitrous oxide emission and soil carbon sequestration from herbaceous perennial biofuel feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and renewable, domestic fuels are needed in the United States. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman) are potential bioenergy feedstocks that may meet this need. However, managing perennial grasses for feedstock requires nitro...

  13. Crop and livestock enterprise integration: Effects of annual crops used for fall forage production on livestock productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diversification of farm enterprises is important to maintain sustainable production systems. Systems that integrate crops and livestock may prove beneficial to each enterprise. Our objectives were to determine the effects of annual crops grazed in the fall and early-winter period on cow and calf gro...

  14. Advancing the climate data driven crop-modeling studies in the dry areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon: An important first step for assessing impact of future climate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dixit, Prakash N., E-mail: p.dixit@cgiar.org; Telleria, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Inter-annual and seasonal variability in climatic parameters, most importantly rainfall, have potential to cause climate-induced risk in long-term crop production. Short-term field studies do not capture the full nature of such risk and the extent to which modifications to crop, soil and water management recommendations may be made to mitigate the extent of such risk. Crop modeling studies driven by long-term daily weather data can predict the impact of climate-induced risk on crop growth and yield however, the availability of long-term daily weather data can present serious constraints to the use of crop models. To tackle this constraint, two weather generators namely, LARS-WG and MarkSim, were evaluated in order to assess their capabilities of reproducing frequency distributions, means, variances, dry spell and wet chains of observed daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature, and solar radiation for the eight locations across cropping areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon. Further, the application of generated long-term daily weather data, with both weather generators, in simulating barley growth and yield was also evaluated. We found that overall LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters and in 50 years continuous simulation of barley growth and yield. Our findings suggest that LARS-WG does not necessarily require long-term e.g., > 30 years observed weather data for calibration as generated results proved to be satisfactory with > 10 years of observed data except in area with higher altitude. Evaluating these weather generators and the ability of generated weather data to perform long-term simulation of crop growth and yield is an important first step to assess the impact of future climate on yields, and to identify promising technologies to make agricultural systems more resilient in the given region. - Highlights: • LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters. • LARS-WG can serve

  15. Advancing the climate data driven crop-modeling studies in the dry areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon: An important first step for assessing impact of future climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dixit, Prakash N.; Telleria, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Inter-annual and seasonal variability in climatic parameters, most importantly rainfall, have potential to cause climate-induced risk in long-term crop production. Short-term field studies do not capture the full nature of such risk and the extent to which modifications to crop, soil and water management recommendations may be made to mitigate the extent of such risk. Crop modeling studies driven by long-term daily weather data can predict the impact of climate-induced risk on crop growth and yield however, the availability of long-term daily weather data can present serious constraints to the use of crop models. To tackle this constraint, two weather generators namely, LARS-WG and MarkSim, were evaluated in order to assess their capabilities of reproducing frequency distributions, means, variances, dry spell and wet chains of observed daily precipitation, maximum and minimum temperature, and solar radiation for the eight locations across cropping areas of Northern Syria and Lebanon. Further, the application of generated long-term daily weather data, with both weather generators, in simulating barley growth and yield was also evaluated. We found that overall LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters and in 50 years continuous simulation of barley growth and yield. Our findings suggest that LARS-WG does not necessarily require long-term e.g., > 30 years observed weather data for calibration as generated results proved to be satisfactory with > 10 years of observed data except in area with higher altitude. Evaluating these weather generators and the ability of generated weather data to perform long-term simulation of crop growth and yield is an important first step to assess the impact of future climate on yields, and to identify promising technologies to make agricultural systems more resilient in the given region. - Highlights: • LARS-WG performed better than MarkSim in generating daily weather parameters. • LARS-WG can serve

  16. Spatial optimization of cropping pattern for sustainable food and biofuel production with minimal downstream pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Femeena, P V; Sudheer, K P; Cibin, R; Chaubey, I

    2018-04-15

    Biofuel has emerged as a substantial source of energy in many countries. In order to avoid the 'food versus fuel competition', arising from grain-based ethanol production, the United States has passed regulations that require second generation or cellulosic biofeedstocks to be used for majority of the biofuel production by 2022. Agricultural residue, such as corn stover, is currently the largest source of cellulosic feedstock. However, increased harvesting of crops residue may lead to increased application of fertilizers in order to recover the soil nutrients lost from the residue removal. Alternatively, introduction of less-fertilizer intensive perennial grasses such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deu.) can be a viable source for biofuel production. Even though these grasses are shown to reduce nutrient loads to a great extent, high production cost have constrained their wide adoptability to be used as a viable feedstock. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity to optimize feedstock production to meet bioenergy demand while improving water quality. This study presents a multi-objective simulation optimization framework using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Multi Algorithm Genetically Adaptive Method (AMALGAM) to develop optimal cropping pattern with minimum nutrient delivery and minimum biomass production cost. Computational time required for optimization was significantly reduced by loose coupling SWAT with an external in-stream solute transport model. Optimization was constrained by food security and biofuel production targets that ensured not more than 10% reduction in grain yield and at least 100 million gallons of ethanol production. A case study was carried out in St. Joseph River Watershed that covers 280,000 ha area in the Midwest U.S. Results of the study indicated that introduction of corn stover removal and perennial grass production reduce nitrate and total phosphorus loads without

  17. Salt resistant crop plants

    KAUST Repository

    Roy, Stuart J.

    2014-04-01

    Soil salinity is a major constraint to agriculture. To improve salinity tolerance of crops, various traits can be incorporated, including ion exclusion, osmotic tolerance and tissue tolerance. We review the roles of a range of genes involved in salt tolerance traits. Different tissues and cells are adapted for specific and often diverse function, so it is important to express the genes in specific cell-types and to pyramid a range of traits. Modern biotechnology (marker- assisted selection or genetic engineering) needs to be increasingly used to introduce the correct combination of genes into elite crop cultivars. Importantly, the effects of introduced genes need to be evaluated in the field to determine their effect on salinity tolerance and yield improvement.

  18. Climate Impacts of Cover Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardozzi, D.; Wieder, W. R.; Bonan, G. B.; Morris, C. K.; Grandy, S.

    2016-12-01

    Cover crops are planted in agricultural rotation with the intention of protecting soil rather than harvest. Cover crops have numerous environmental benefits that include preventing soil erosion, increasing soil fertility, and providing weed and pest control- among others. In addition to localized environmental benefits, cover crops can have important regional or global biogeochemical impacts by increasing soil organic carbon, changing emissions of greenhouse trace gases like nitrous oxide and methane, and reducing hydrologic nitrogen losses. Cover crops may additionally affect climate by changing biogeophysical processes, like albedo and latent heat flux, though these potential changes have not yet been evaluated. Here we use the coupled Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) - Community Land Model (CLM4.5) to test how planting cover crops in the United States may change biogeophysical fluxes and climate. We present seasonal changes in albedo, heat fluxes, evaporative partitioning, radiation, and the resulting changes in temperature. Preliminary analyses show that during seasons when cover crops are planted, latent heat flux increases and albedo decreases, changing the evaporative fraction and surface temperatures. Understanding both the biogeophysical changes caused by planting cover crops in this study and the biogeochemical changes found in other studies will give a clearer picture of the overall impacts of cover crops on climate and atmospheric chemistry, informing how this land use strategy will impact climate in the future.

  19. Economic impact of GM crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, Graham; Barfoot, Peter

    2014-01-01

    A key part of any assessment of the global value of crop biotechnology in agriculture is an examination of its economic impact at the farm level. This paper follows earlier annual studies which examined economic impacts on yields, key costs of production, direct farm income and effects, and impacts on the production base of the four main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops has continued to occur at a rapid rate, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2012. This annual updated analysis shows that there have been very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $18.8 billion in 2012 and $116.6 billion for the 17-year period (in nominal terms). These economic gains have been divided roughly 50% each to farmers in developed and developing countries. GM technology have also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the four main crops, having added 122 million tonnes and 230 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid-1990s. PMID:24637520

  20. Biotechnology Towards Energy Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margaritopoulou, Theoni; Roka, Loukia; Alexopoulou, Efi; Christou, Myrsini; Rigas, Stamatis; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Milioni, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    New crops are gradually establishing along with cultivation systems to reduce reliance on depleting fossil fuel reserves and sustain better adaptation to climate change. These biological assets could be efficiently exploited as bioenergy feedstocks. Bioenergy crops are versatile renewable sources with the potential to alternatively contribute on a daily basis towards the coverage of modern society's energy demands. Biotechnology may facilitate the breeding of elite energy crop genotypes, better suited for bio-processing and subsequent use that will improve efficiency, further reduce costs, and enhance the environmental benefits of biofuels. Innovative molecular techniques may improve a broad range of important features including biomass yield, product quality and resistance to biotic factors like pests or microbial diseases or environmental cues such as drought, salinity, freezing injury or heat shock. The current review intends to assess the capacity of biotechnological applications to develop a beneficial bioenergy pipeline extending from feedstock development to sustainable biofuel production and provide examples of the current state of the art on future energy crops.

  1. The consequent influence of crop rotation and six-year-long spring barley monoculture on yields and weed infestation of white mustard and oats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cezary Kwiatkowski

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study was conducted in the years 2007- 2008, after 6-year-long experiments in the cultivation of spring barley in a crop rotation system and in monoculture. The other experimental factor was the spring barley protection method. Intensive protection involved comprehensive treatment of barley (in-crop harrowing, seed dressing, application of herbicides, fungicides, a retardant and an insecticide. Extensive protection consisted only in in-crop harrowing, without the application of crop protection agents, except for seed dressing. The above mentioned factors formed the background for the study on the cultivation of white mustard and oats, as phytosanitary species, in successive years. In the test plants, no mineral fertilization and crop protection were applied. Such agricultural method enabled an objective assessment of the consequent effect of monoculture, crop rotation and crop treatments. A hypothesis was made that the cultivation of the phytosanitary plants in the stand after 6-year-long barley monoculture would allow obtaining the level of yields and weed infestation similar to those of the crop rotation treatments. It was also assumed that the cultivation of white mustard and oats would eliminate differences in plant productivity caused by the negative influence of extensive protection. It was proved that the cultivation of the phytosanitary plants eliminated the negative influence of monoculture on the level of their yields and weed infestation. However, the test plants did not compensate negative consequences of extensive protection. In spite of this, white mustard and oats effectively competed with weeds, and the number and weight of weeds in a crop canopy did not cause a dramatic decline in yields. In the test plant canopy, the following short-lived weeds were predominant: Chenopodium album, Galinsoga parviflora, Echinochloa crus-galli. The absence of herbicide application resulted in the compensation of perennial species

  2. The Effect of Heavy Metal Contaminated Soil on Growth and Development of Perennial Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Żurek G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Contamination of agricultural land in Poland by heavy metals is not a general problem but is limited to industrial areas. In regions of long history of industrial emission, of elevated levels of lead, cadmium, zinc and other ions during coal and ore mining and processing, as for example in Silesia, about 10 % of agricultural land may be characterized by exceeded maximum residue limits for Cd, Pb, Cu, Ni and Zn ions. Since the maintenance of agricultural areas in those regions is important from an ecological standpoint, the alternative farming activities are needed. Perennial grass biomass production for energy purposes is currently the best solution for majority of agricultural areas not suitable for food production in Poland. Along with increasing knowledge on separation and utilization of heavy metals (HM during and after biomass processing, phytoremediation of polluted soils will become important and valuable. To detect the effect of soil HM ions concentration on growth and development of selected, tall growing and high biomass yielding perennial grass cultivars, the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were registered. The elevated content of Pb, Cd and Zn ions in soil influenced on decrease of: minimal (Fo, maximal (Fm and variable (Fv fluorescence level as well as on total complementary area on a diagram of chlorophyll a fluorescence induction curve (Area. Based on detected parameters it was concluded, that the high level of HM ions in soils negatively affected the efficiency of photosynthesis. Therefore, plant growth, as well as development of generative shoots and finally the biomass yield were reduced in some cultivars. Among tested cultivars different reaction for HM ions in polluted soil were noted: from only slightly modified parameters of photosynthesis and unreduced yield (Elytrigia elongata cv. Bamar and Arrhenatherum elatius cv. Wiwena to significantly reduced Fo, Fv, Fm and biomass yield (Bromus carinathus cv. Broma and Bromus

  3. Planning crops and developing propagation protocols [Chapter 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass F. Jacobs; Kim M. Wilkinson

    2009-01-01

    Crop planning is an important but often neglected aspect of successful nursery management. Crop planning enables proper scheduling of the necessary time, materials, labor, and space to produce crops. Many painstaking details, such as the careful design of nursery facilities; working with clients; collecting and propagating seeds and cuttings; and making improvements in...

  4. Cultivar effects of perennial ryegrass on herbage intake by grazing dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, H.J.

    2006-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass is the most abundant grass species in temperate climates. An increased herbage intake of dairy cows by breeding new cultivars could have a large potential impact on agriculture. The effects of cultivars on sward structure, nutritive value, physical characteristics and disease

  5. Crop yield, root growth, and nutrient dynamics in a conventional and three organic cropping systems with different levels of external inputs and N re-cycling through fertility building crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian; Dresbøll, Dorte Bodin; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg

    2012-01-01

    systems based on fertility building crops (green manures and catch crops). In short, the main distinctions were not observed between organic and conventional systems (i.e. C vs. O1, O2 and O3), but between systems based mainly on nutrient import vs. systems based mainly on fertility building crops (C...... of the organic rotation, both relying on green manures and catch crops grown during the autumn after the main crop as their main source of soil fertility, and the O3 system further leaving rows of the green manures to grow as intercrops between vegetable rows to improve the conditions for biodiversity...... were found. Root growth of all crops was studied in the C and O2 system, but only few effects of cropping system on root growth was observed. However, the addition of green manures to the systems almost doubled the average soil exploration by active root systems during the rotation from only 21% in C...

  6. Historical Perspective on How and Why Switchgrass was Selected as a "Model" High-Potential Energy Crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Lynn L [ORNL

    2007-11-01

    A review of several publications of the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, and final reports from the herbaceous crop screening trials suggests that there were several technical and non-technical factors that influenced the decision to focus on one herbaceous "model" crop species. The screening trials funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in the late 1980's to early 1990's assessed a wide range of about 34 species with trials being conducted on a wide range of soil types in 31 different sites spread over seven states in crop producing regions of the U.S. While several species, including sorghums, reed canarygrass and other crops, were identified as having merit for further development, the majority of institutions involved in the herbaceous species screening studies identified switchgrass as having high priority for further development. Six of the seven institutions included switchgrass among the species recommended for further development in their region and all institutions recommended that perennial grasses be given high research priority. Reasons for the selection of switchgrass included the demonstration of relatively high, reliable productivity across a wide geographical range, suitability for marginal quality land, low water and nutrient requirements, and positive environmental attributes. Economic and environmental assessments by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program staff together with the screening project results, and funding limitations lead to making the decision to further develop only switchgrass as a "model" or "prototype" species in about 1990. This paper describes the conditions under which the herbaceous species were screened, summarizes results from those trials, discusses the various factors which influenced the selection of switchgrass, and provides a brief evaluation of switchgrass with respect to criteria that should be considered when selecting and developing a crop for biofuels and

  7. Impact of feedstock, land use change, and soil organic carbon on energy and greenhouse gas performance of biomass cogeneration technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Njakou Djomo, S.; Witters, N.; Van Dael, M.; Gabrielle, B.; Ceulemans, R.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Comparison of 40 bioenergy pathways to a fossil-fuel based CHP system. • Not all energy efficient pathways led to lower GHG emissions. • iLUC through intensification increased the total energy input and GHG emissions. • Fluidized bed technologies maximize the energy and GHG benefits of all pathways. • Perennial crops are in some cases better than residues on GHG emissions criteria. - Abstract: Bioenergy (i.e., bioheat and bioelectricity) could simultaneously address energy insecurity and climate change. However, bioenergy’s impact on climate change remains incomplete when land use changes (LUC), soil organic carbon (SOC) changes, and the auxiliary energy consumption are not accounted for in the life cycle. Using data collected from Belgian farmers, combined heat and power (CHP) operators, and a life cycle approach, we compared 40 bioenergy pathways to a fossil-fuel CHP system. Bioenergy required between 0.024 and 0.204 MJ (0.86 MJ th + 0.14 MJ el ) −1 , and the estimated energy ratio (energy output-to-input ratio) ranged from 5 to 42. SOC loss increased the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of residue based bioenergy. On average, the iLUC represented ∼67% of the total GHG emissions of bioenergy from perennial energy crops. However, the net LUC (i.e., dLUC + iLUC) effects substantially reduced the GHG emissions incurred during all phases of bioenergy production from perennial crops, turning most pathways based on energy crops to GHG sinks. Relative to fossil-fuel based CHP all bioenergy pathways reduced GHG emissions by 8–114%. Fluidized bed technologies maximize the energy and the GHG benefits of all pathways. The size and the power-to-heat ratio for a given CHP influenced the energy and GHG performance of these bioenergy pathways. Even with the inclusion of LUC, perennial crops had better GHG performance than agricultural and forest residues. Perennial crops have a high potential in the multidimensional approach to increase energy

  8. Cover crops knowledge and implementation willingness by producers of several crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Gómez Gómez

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge on cover crops and native vegetation mulches and the willingness to implement them by papaya, oil palm, and banana producers in Costa Rica. An evaluation instrument with twenty eight questions to be answered as true or false was developed, and it was used to yield a knowledge indicator. Seven additional questions with responses on a scale from 0 to 5 were included to explore producers’ willingness to implement cover crops or native vegetation mulches on their farms. The evaluation was completed in 2014, and was filled out by 36 papaya producers, 30 oil palm producers, and 57 banana producers. Item analyses to determine reliability produced Cronbach’s alpha values above 90%. For this study a factors analysis was performed in order to determine the measurement of one single variable, knowledge on cover crops and native vegetation mulches. Global knowledge scores varied signi cantly between producer groups. Banana producers assessments yielded the highest mean with the lowest variability, whereas papaya producers had the lower mean and the highest variability. Likewise, answers to each of the questions differed importantly between producer groups. It was also determined that producers of these crops are willing to implement and get training on cover crops and native vegetation mulches.

  9. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesocosm held three tubs. One had six native plant species; one had five native species with the annual crop Sorghum bicolor and one had five native species along with the weedy perennial Sorghum halepense. The experimental treatments were ambient (control), elevated temperature, drought, or a combination of elevated temperature and drought. Total aboveground biomass of the community was greatest in the control and drought treatments, lowest with elevated temperature + drought, and intermediate in high temperature treatments (Pbacterial biomass. Active bacterial biomass was lowest in the drought and elevated temperature and drought treatments (P<0.05). Active soil fungal biomass was highest in the tubs containing S. bicolor. Percent total carbon in the soil increased between 2010 and 2011 (P=0.0054); it was lowest in the elevated temperature and drought mesocosms (P<0.05). Longer term studi

  10. Brachypodium distachyon genomics for sustainable food and fuel production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasses are a vital source of food for humanity and are projected to be become an important source of renewable fuel. To provide food, feed and fuel for an ever expanding human population it will be necessary to improve existing grass crops (e.g. wheat, maize, rice) and domesticate perennial grasses...

  11. Impacts of managing perennial grasses in the northern Midwest United States for bioenergy on soil organic C and nitrous oxide emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the USA perennial grasses [e.g., switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerdardii Vitman)] are proposed as cellulosic feedstock. Perennial grasses are often touted as being low input and as having a C-neutral foot print, but managing them as bioenergy feedstock means addin...

  12. Association of Candidate Genes With Submergence Response in Perennial Ryegrass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xicheng Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Perennial ryegrass is a popular cool-season grass species due to its high quality for forage and turf. The objective of this study was to identify associations of candidate genes with growth and physiological traits to submergence stress and recovery after de-submergence in a global collection of 94 perennial ryegrass accessions. Accessions varied largely in leaf color, plant height (HT, leaf fresh weight (LFW, leaf dry weight (LDW, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm at 7 days of submergence and in HT, LFW and LDW at 7 days of recovery in two experiments. Among 26 candidate genes tested by various models, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in 10 genes showed significant associations with traits including 16 associations for control, 10 for submergence, and 8 for recovery. Under submergence, Lp1-SST encoding sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase and LpGA20ox encoding gibberellin 20-oxidase were associated with LFW and LDW, and LpACO1 encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase was associated with LFW. Associations between Lp1-SST and HT, Lp6G-FFT encoding fructan:fructan 6G-fructosyltransferase and Fv/Fm, LpCAT encoding catalase and HT were also detected under submergence stress. Upon de-submergence, Lp1-SST, Lp6G-FFT, and LpPIP1 encoding plasma membrane intrinsic protein type 1 were associated with LFW or LDW, while LpCBF1b encoding C-repeat binding factor were associated with HT. Nine significant SNPs in Lp1-SST, Lp6G-FFT, LpCAT, and LpACO1 resulted in amino acid changes with five substitutions found in Lp1-SST under submergence or recovery. The results indicated that allelic diversity in genes involved in carbohydrate and antioxidant metabolism, ethylene and gibberellin biosynthesis, and transcript factor could contribute to growth variations in perennial ryegrass under submergence stress and recovery after de-submergence.

  13. Perennial soybean seeds coated with high doses of boron and zinc ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The objective of this work was to study combinations of high doses of boron (B) and zinc (Zn) in the recoating of perennial soybean seeds, in order to provide these nutrients to the future plants. The physical, physiological and nutritional characteristics of the coated seeds and initial development of plants in a greenhouse ...

  14. Global Status of Genetically Modified Crops: Current Trends and Prospects

    OpenAIRE

    Hautea, Randy A.

    2002-01-01

    Modern biotechnology-facilitated crop improvement is undoubtedly one of the most significant technological developments in agriculture. The first wave of genetically-modified (GM) or transgenic crops include cultivars with important input traits such as herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Future products are expected to provide benefits that could include tolerance to environmental stresses and enhanced nutritional content, which can be particularly valuable in crops that are important...

  15. Parameterization models for pesticide exposure via crop consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fantke, Peter; Wieland, Peter; Juraske, Ronnie; Shaddick, Gavin; Itoiz, Eva Sevigné; Friedrich, Rainer; Jolliet, Olivier

    2012-12-04

    An approach for estimating human exposure to pesticides via consumption of six important food crops is presented that can be used to extend multimedia models applied in health risk and life cycle impact assessment. We first assessed the variation of model output (pesticide residues per kg applied) as a function of model input variables (substance, crop, and environmental properties) including their possible correlations using matrix algebra. We identified five key parameters responsible for between 80% and 93% of the variation in pesticide residues, namely time between substance application and crop harvest, degradation half-lives in crops and on crop surfaces, overall residence times in soil, and substance molecular weight. Partition coefficients also play an important role for fruit trees and tomato (Kow), potato (Koc), and lettuce (Kaw, Kow). Focusing on these parameters, we develop crop-specific models by parametrizing a complex fate and exposure assessment framework. The parametric models thereby reflect the framework's physical and chemical mechanisms and predict pesticide residues in harvest using linear combinations of crop, crop surface, and soil compartments. Parametric model results correspond well with results from the complex framework for 1540 substance-crop combinations with total deviations between a factor 4 (potato) and a factor 66 (lettuce). Predicted residues also correspond well with experimental data previously used to evaluate the complex framework. Pesticide mass in harvest can finally be combined with reduction factors accounting for food processing to estimate human exposure from crop consumption. All parametric models can be easily implemented into existing assessment frameworks.

  16. Improvement of some important crops in Yemen through induced mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saif, Abdulwahed; Abdul-Habeeb, A.; Zaid, N.; Hazah, A.; Alsaghir, M.; Makbul, M. A.; Alsamiri, A.; Shualan, S.; Almaktari, A.

    2004-01-01

    The seeds of several Wheat, Lentil, Sesame and Cotton cultivars were irradiated with different doses of gamma rays 200, 250, 300 and 100, 250, 200 and 300, 400, 500 and 400, 500, 600 Gy respectively. The plants of M1 were shown at closer distance between rows and seeds in order to reduce tillering. Further studies were carried out in the field to evaluate the M2 and M3 generations. The selection was done on the basis of productivity, earliness, resistance to lodging and growth habitat traits. The date were collected indicated that, the reduction of seed germination occurred at increasing radiation doses was observed of all cultivars of the same crops. Noticed, also useful variation amongst the M2 and M3 generations for many traits such as, earliness, plant height, productivity of plants and growth habitat. For example we obtained on six segregating mutants having longer spike with more number seeds, more productive tillers than of control (untreated) and early maturing which took 54 days to flowering compared to 63 days by the original cultivar of wheat. Some promising segregating mutants of lentil crop were selected for earliness and increase a number of branches per plant which have three pods per each peduncle compared with the tow in the parent. For sesame we bred 43 mutants with high number of capsules, higher number of branches, early maturity and higher yield per plant. The same trend also was observed for cotton, we obtained on mutants having higher yield per plant with early maturity compared with control. All theses mutants will evaluate them further, select the best having high yield per plant with good quality. (Authors)

  17. Switchgrass as a biofuels crop for the upper Southeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrish, D.J.; Wolf, D.D. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified in DOE-sponsored studies as a widely adapted, productive herbaceous candidate for biofuels cropping. It is a perennial that has been planted using no-till procedures, and it appears to have positive effects on the soils in which it grows. We have been looking at this species as a potential fuelcrop (as well as a valuable forage) for several years. In this presentation, we note several {open_quotes}lessons learned{close_quotes} about switchgrass establishment and management as an energy crop. Data include results from recent plantings in the upper Southeast USA and from cutting management studies. Six varieties of switchgrass (Alamo, Cave-in-Rock, Kanlow, Shelter, and two breeder`s lines) varied markedly in the success of their no-till establishment at eight locations across the upper Southeast. Better weed control, which was achieved at later planting dates, seemed to be the key. Yields obtained in the establishment stands revealed that two harvests per season are more productive (by 2 to 3 Mg/ha) than one, but the date of first cutting is crucial. First cutting should be from late-June to mid-July. A two-cut system may not be economically advantageous, however. Another cutting-management study detected losses of standing biomass at the end of the growing season. As much as 15% of the above-ground biomass present in early-September was no longer harvestable in early-November. We think this loss results from translocation of dry matter to below-ground parts.

  18. Fructan metabolism and changes in fructan composition during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abeynayake, Shamila; Etzerodt, Thomas; Jonavičienė, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    . The ecotype ‘Falster’, adapted to cold climates, increased total fructan content and produced more fructans (DP˃7) in the roots than the variety ‘Veyo’, adapted to warmer climates suggesting that accumulation of fructans in roots, especially the high-DP fructans as an adaptive trait for plant recovery after......Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) produces high levels of fructans as a mixture of oligomers with different degrees of polymerization (DP). The present study describes the analysis of the compositional changes in the full spectrum of fructan oligomers, fructan distribution between above ground...... biomass (top) and the roots, and the transcription of candidate genes involved in fructan metabolism during cold acclimation in perennial ryegrass variety ‘Veyo’ and ecotype ‘Falster’ from distinct geographical origins. We observed changes in fructan composition and induction of low-DP fructans...

  19. Study on absorption and translocation amounts of 2,4-D on perennial weed( Glycyrrhiza glabra) by 19 C- labelled herbicides tracer technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahari Mostafavi, H.; Fatholahi, H.; Naserian, B.

    2004-01-01

    Glycyrrhiza glabra a perennial broad leaf weed, is very difficult to control due to it's powerful root system. The best chemical treatment to perennial weeds control is the application of systemic herbicides and their effect is related to amount of permeability and mobility

  20. Cover crops support ecological intensification of arable cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittwer, Raphaël A.; Dorn, Brigitte; Jossi, Werner; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2017-02-01

    A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity with minimum impact on the environment. Several studies indicate that cover crops could replace anthropogenic inputs and enhance crop productivity. However, so far, it is unclear if cover crop effects vary between different cropping systems, and direct comparisons among major arable production systems are rare. Here we compared the short-term effects of various cover crops on crop yield, nitrogen uptake, and weed infestation in four arable production systems (conventional cropping with intensive tillage and no-tillage; organic cropping with intensive tillage and reduced tillage). We hypothesized that cover cropping effects increase with decreasing management intensity. Our study demonstrated that cover crop effects on crop yield were highest in the organic system with reduced tillage (+24%), intermediate in the organic system with tillage (+13%) and in the conventional system with no tillage (+8%) and lowest in the conventional system with tillage (+2%). Our results indicate that cover crops are essential to maintaining a certain yield level when soil tillage intensity is reduced (e.g. under conservation agriculture), or when production is converted to organic agriculture. Thus, the inclusion of cover crops provides additional opportunities to increase the yield of lower intensity production systems and contribute to ecological intensification.

  1. Returning succession to downy brome dominated rangelands: roadblocks to perennial grass establishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    The most common cause of successional retrogression in the Great Basin is wildfires fueled by downy brome (Bromus tectorum). Downy brome invasion has reduced fire intervals from an estimated 60-100 years down to 5-10 years. Our previous research found that establishment of long-lived perennial grass...

  2. Engineering Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum Resistance in Oilseed Crops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary is worldwide in distribution and pathogenic to more than 400 plant species. This disease causes significant yield losses of various important crops including sunflower, canola, and soybean. Applying fungicides and crop rotation are currently the major methods of ...

  3. Energy sorghum--a genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullet, John; Morishige, Daryl; McCormick, Ryan; Truong, Sandra; Hilley, Josie; McKinley, Brian; Anderson, Robert; Olson, Sara N; Rooney, William

    2014-07-01

    Sorghum is emerging as an excellent genetic model for the design of C4 grass bioenergy crops. Annual energy Sorghum hybrids also serve as a source of biomass for bioenergy production. Elucidation of Sorghum's flowering time gene regulatory network, and identification of complementary alleles for photoperiod sensitivity, enabled large-scale generation of energy Sorghum hybrids for testing and commercial use. Energy Sorghum hybrids with long vegetative growth phases were found to accumulate more than twice as much biomass as grain Sorghum, owing to extended growing seasons, greater light interception, and higher radiation use efficiency. High biomass yield, efficient nitrogen recycling, and preferential accumulation of stem biomass with low nitrogen content contributed to energy Sorghum's elevated nitrogen use efficiency. Sorghum's integrated genetics-genomics-breeding platform, diverse germplasm, and the opportunity for annual testing of new genetic designs in controlled environments and in multiple field locations is aiding fundamental discovery, and accelerating the improvement of biomass yield and optimization of composition for biofuels production. Recent advances in wide hybridization between Sorghum and other C4 grasses could allow the deployment of improved genetic designs of annual energy Sorghums in the form of wide-hybrid perennial crops. The current trajectory of energy Sorghum genetic improvement indicates that it will be possible to sustainably produce biofuels from C4 grass bioenergy crops that are cost competitive with petroleum-based transportation fuels. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. A multi-adaptive framework for the crop choice in paludicultural cropping systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Silvestri

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The conventional cultivation of drained peatland causes peat oxidation, soil subsidence, nutrient loss, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity reduction. Paludiculture has been identified as an alternative management strategy consisting in the cultivation of biomass on wet and rewetted peatlands. This strategy can save these habitats and restore the ecosystem services provided by the peatlands both on the local and global scale. This paper illustrates the most important features to optimise the crop choice phase which is the crucial point for the success of paludiculture systems. A multi-adaptive framework was proposed. It was based on four points that should be checked to identify suitable crops for paludicultural cropping system: biological traits, biomass production, attitude to cultivation and biomass quality. The main agronomic implications were explored with the help of some results from a plurennial open-field experimentation carried out in a paludicultural system set up in the Massaciuccoli Lake Basin (Tuscany, Italy and a complete example of the method application was provided. The tested crops were Arundo donax L., Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter, Phragmites australis L., Populus×canadensis Moench. and Salix alba L. The results showed a different level of suitability ascribable to the different plant species proving that the proposed framework can discriminate the behaviour of tested crops. Phragmites australis L. was the most suitable crop whereas Populus×canadensis Moench and Miscanthus×giganteus Greef et Deuter (in the case of biogas conversion occupied the last positions in the ranking.

  5. Nasal budesonide offers superior symptom relief in perennial allergic rhinitis in comparison to nasal azelastine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, M A; Wade, A G; Ridout, S M; Cambell, L M

    1998-10-01

    Allergic rhinitis is usually treated with oral antihistamines or nasal steroids. Topically active nasal antihistamine is a new treatment modality for allergic rhinitis. The efficacy in comparison to well established topical treatment alternatives is not fully known. To compare the efficacy of intranasally administered azelastine to budesonide, at their respectively recommended dosage, on the symptoms of perennial rhinitis patients. A placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel group study was conducted to compare the efficacy and tolerability of intranasal budesonide aqueous suspension (256 microg once daily) with azelastine hydrochloride nasal spray (280 microg twice daily (560 microg/day)) and with placebo in the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis. The 195 patients (with at least a 2-year history of perennial allergic rhinitis) recorded individual nasal symptom scores, the degree of symptom control achieved and any adverse events experienced over a 2-week baseline period and a 6-week treatment period. Following treatment, the reductions in mean combined and individual nasal symptom scores from baseline values were significantly greater in the budesonide group compared with the placebo group (P < .0001 for all variables except runny nose P = .01). In patients treated with budesonide, there were also significantly larger reductions from baseline values in combined nasal symptom scores (P < .01) and in scores for all individual nasal symptoms (P < or = .05) compared with those treated with azelastine. The reductions from baseline in both combined and individual nasal symptom scores did not differ between azelastine and placebo. The study medications were well tolerated, producing no unexpected or serious treatment-related adverse events. A once-daily dose of 256 microg of intranasal budesonide aqueous suspension is significantly more effective at relieving the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis compared with a twice daily dose of 280 microg of azelastine

  6. Novel application of ALMANAC: Modelling a functional group, exotic warm-season perennial grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduced perennial C4 grasses such buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare [(L.) Link]) and old world bluestems (OWB), including genera such as Bothriochloa Kuntze, Capillipedium Stapf, and Dichanthium Willemet have the potential to dominate landscapes. A process-based model that realistically simulates ...

  7. Evaluating winter/spring seeding of a native perennial bunchgrass in the sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) plant communities in the US Great Basin region are being severely impacted by increasingly frequent wildfires in association with the expansion of exotic annual grasses. Maintenance of native perennial bunchgrasses is key to controlling annual grass expansion,...

  8. GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD CROPS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Chaparro Giraldo

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The progress made in plant biotechnology has provided an opportunity to new food crops being developed having desirable traits for improving crop yield, reducing the use of agrochemicals and adding nutritional properties to staple crops. However, genetically modified (GM crops have become a subject of intense debate in which opponents argue that GM crops represent a threat to individual freedom, the environment, public health and traditional economies. Despite the advances in food crop agriculture, the current world situation is still characterised by massive hunger and chronic malnutrition, representing a major public health problem. Biofortified GM crops have been considered an important and complementary strategy for delivering naturally-fortified staple foods to malnourished populations. Expert advice and public concern have led to designing strategies for assessing the potential risks involved in cultivating and consuming GM crops. The present critical review was aimed at expressing some conflicting points of view about the potential risks of GM crops for public health. It was concluded that GM food crops are no more risky than those genetically modified by conventional methods and that these GM crops might contribute towards reducing the amount of malnourished people around the world. However, all this needs to be complemented by effective political action aimed at increasing the income of people living below the poverty-line.

  9. Production of quality/certified seed of fodder-crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhutta, A.R.; Hussain, A.

    2006-01-01

    Although, Pakistan has well developed Seed-production and certification Programme for major crops, but seed programme for fodder-crops is still not well organized. Availability of local certified seed, remained 250-350 mt for Berseem, Sorghum, maize, barley and oat. About 5000 to 9000 mt of seed has being imported during 2003-04 to 2005-06. Fodder Research Institute and jullundhur Seed Corporation have demonstrated a model of public/private partnership for initiation of certified seed of a few fodder crops. To produce quality seeds of fodder crops, various steps, procedures and prescribed standards have been given, which will help in production of quality seed of fodder crops in Pakistan. (author)

  10. Alcohol consumption and the risk of self-reported perennial and seasonal allergic rhinitis in young adult women in a population-based cohort study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, P; Grønbæk, M; Kjær, S. K.

    2008-01-01

    Background Alcohol consumption has been suggested to be associated with the development of allergic rhinitis (AR), but there is limited data on the topic. Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing AR among young...... women. Methods Five thousand eight hundred and seventy Danish women aged 20-29 years participated in a prospective cohort study, and were free of seasonal and perennial AR at baseline (1991-1993). Alcohol consumption was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. The main outcome measures were self......-reported information on seasonal and perennial AR debuting during a mean follow-up period of 7.8 years. Results During follow-up, 831 women developed seasonal AR and 523 women developed perennial AR, corresponding to 14% and 9%. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with the risk of developing perennial AR...

  11. African Journal of Range and Forage Science - Vol 11, No 1 (1976)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Range and Forage Science. ... Changes of biomass in some perennial grass species. ... The use of shoot dimensions to estimate the leaf mass or shoot area of certain indigenous ... Italian ryegrass as a perennial fodder crop.

  12. Improving selenium nutritional value of major crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micronutrient efficiency and development of nutrient-dense crops continue to be one of the most important global challenges. Se is an essential micronutrient to humans and serves as a cancer preventative agent. In order to improve Se nutritional and health promoting values in food crops, a better un...

  13. Assessment of the Agronomic Feasibility of Bioenergy Crop Cultivation on Marginal and Polluted Land: A GIS-Based Suitability Study from the Sulcis Area, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Pulighe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In the context of environmental sustainability there has been an increasing interest in bioenergy production from renewable resources, and is expected that European biofuel production from energy crops will increase as a consequence of the achievement of policy targets. The aim of this paper is to assess the agronomic feasibility of biomass crop cultivation to provide profitable renewable feedstocks in a marginal and heavy-metal polluted area located in the Sulcis district, Sardinia (Italy. Results from literature review and unpublished data from field trials carried out in Sardinia were analysed to establish the main agronomic traits of crops (e.g., yield potential and input requirements. A Geographical Information System (GIS-based procedure with remotely sensed data is also used to evaluate the land suitability and the actual land use/cover, considering a future scenario of expansion of energy crops on these marginal areas avoiding potential conflicts with food production. The results of the review suggests that giant reed, native perennial grasses and milk thistle are the most suitable energy crops for this area. The land suitability analysis shows that about 5700 ha and 1000 ha could be available for feedstock cultivation in the study area and in the most polluted area, respectively. The results obtained from land suitability process and agronomic evaluation will serve as a base to support technical and economical feasibility studies, as well as for the evaluation of environmental sustainability of the cultivation in the study area.

  14. Water for Food, Energy, and the Environment: Assessing Streamflow Impacts of Increasing Cellulosic Biofuel Crop Production in the Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, M. A.; Housh, M.; Ng, T.; Cai, X.; Sivapalan, M.

    2012-12-01

    The recently expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which now requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, has increased demand for biofuel refinery feedstocks. Currently, biofuel production consists mainly of corn-based ethanol, but concern over increasing nitrate levels resulting from increased corn crop fertilization has prompted research into alternative biofuel feedstocks. Of these, high-yielding biomass crops such as Miscanthus have been suggested for cellulose-based ethanol production. Because these perennial crops require less fertilization and do not need tilling, increasing land area in the Midwest planted with Miscanthus would result in less nitrate pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. There is a tradeoff, however, as Miscanthus also has higher water requirements than conventional crops in the region. This could pose a serious problem for riparian ecosystems and other streamflow users such as municipalities and biofuel refineries themselves, as the lowest natural flows in this region coincide with the peak of the growing season. Moreover, low flow reduction may eventually cut off the water quality benefit that planting Miscanthus provides. Therefore, for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production to be sustainable, it is important to understand how the watershed will respond to this change in land and water use. To this end a detailed data analysis of current watershed conditions has been combined with hydrologic modeling to gain deeper insights into how catchments in the highly agricultural central IL watershed of the Sangamon River respond to current and future land and water usage, with the focus on the summer low-flow season. In addition, an integrated systems optimization model has been developed that combines hydrologic, agro-biologic, engineering infrastructural, and economic inputs to provide optimal scenarios of crop type and area and corresponding refinery locations and capacities. Through this integrated modeling framework, we address the key

  15. Evaluation of Seed and Forage Yield of Perennial Plants with Low Water Requirement in Abandoned Farming Lands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali gazanchian

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Drought is a natural phenomenon in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. It is created by low precipitation, high evaporation and reduced soil moisture. Today, they are the major threats to agricultural lands due to fluctuations in rainfall, limited water resources, wells salinization and subsequently abandoned farming lands. Iran is located on the world's dry belt and more than 90 percent of its area is located in the arid and semi-arid climatic regions. It has been reported that the annual rate of soil erosion is up to 33 tons per hectare and 5 to 6 times more than the standard limit. Also, 90% of the country's protein production comes from animals sources. Due to the lack of adequate forage production, the main burden of protein production is imposed on the natural resources and pastures. Therefore, In order to enhance soil stabilization and maintain its fertility, optimum use of off-season precipitations, preventing the flow of water and protecting the abandoned farming lands from the flood risk, increasing the water permeability in the soil, and helping to feed the underwater aquifers and finally the production of forage and seeds, the development of perennial plants cultivation is an important conservative practice. The aim of this study is to emphasize on the selection of the best perennial forage species with low water requirements and acceptable performance for renovation of the abandoned farming lands and moving towards sustainable agriculture approaches. Materials and Methods In this experiment, 10 species of perennial grasses (Agropyron elongatum Host., Secale montanum Guss., Festuca arundinaceae Schreb., Dactylis glomerata L., Agropyron intermedium Host., Agropyron repense L., Agropyron cristatum L., Panicum antidutale Retz., Bromus inermis Leyss., Bromus riparius Rehmann, Agropyron cristatum L. and two legumes includes Trifolium pratense L., Onobrychis sativa Lam. were studied at Asatan-e-Ghods Razavi farm in

  16. Benefits of seasonal forecasts of crop yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, G.; Okada, M.; Nishimori, M.; Yokozawa, M.

    2017-12-01

    Major factors behind recent fluctuations in food prices include increased biofuel production and oil price fluctuations. In addition, several extreme climate events that reduced worldwide food production coincided with upward spikes in food prices. The stabilization of crop yields is one of the most important tasks to stabilize food prices and thereby enhance food security. Recent development of technologies related to crop modeling and seasonal weather forecasting has made it possible to forecast future crop yields for maize and soybean. However, the effective use of these technologies remains limited. Here we present the potential benefits of seasonal crop-yield forecasts on a global scale for choice of planting day. For this purpose, we used a model (PRYSBI-2) that can well replicate past crop yields both for maize and soybean. This model system uses a Bayesian statistical approach to estimate the parameters of a basic process-based model of crop growth. The spatial variability of model parameters was considered by estimating the posterior distribution of the parameters from historical yield data by using the Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method with a resolution of 1.125° × 1.125°. The posterior distributions of model parameters were estimated for each spatial grid with 30 000 MCMC steps of 10 chains each. By using this model and the estimated parameter distributions, we were able to estimate not only crop yield but also levels of associated uncertainty. We found that the global average crop yield increased about 30% as the result of the optimal selection of planting day and that the seasonal forecast of crop yield had a large benefit in and near the eastern part of Brazil and India for maize and the northern area of China for soybean. In these countries, the effects of El Niño and Indian Ocean dipole are large. The results highlight the importance of developing a system to forecast global crop yields.

  17. Parameterization Models for Pesticide Exposure via Crop Consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fantke, Peter; Wieland, Peter; Juraske, Ronnie

    2012-01-01

    harvest, degradation half-lives in crops and on crop surfaces, overall residence times in soil, and substance molecular weight. Partition coefficients also play an important role for fruit trees and tomato (Kow), potato (Koc), and lettuce (Kaw, Kow). Focusing on these parameters, we develop crop...... correspond well with results from the complex framework for 1540 substance-crop combinations with total deviations between a factor 4 (potato) and a factor 66 (lettuce). Predicted residues also correspond well with experimental data previously used to evaluate the complex framework. Pesticide mass in harvest...

  18. Agricultural Residues and Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    There are many opportunities to leverage agricultural resources on existing lands without interfering with production of food, feed, fiber, or forest products. In the recently developed advanced biomass feedstock commercialization vision, estimates of potentially available biomass supply from agriculture are built upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Long-Term Forecast, ensuring that existing product demands are met before biomass crops are planted. Dedicated biomass energy crops and agricultural crop residues are abundant, diverse, and widely distributed across the United States. These potential biomass supplies can play an important role in a national biofuels commercialization strategy.

  19. Altered belowground carbon cycling following land use change to perennial bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belowground carbon (C) dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in the global C cycle and thereby in climate regulation, yet remain poorly understood. Globally, land use change is a major driver of changes in belowground C storage; in general, land clearing and tillage for agricult...

  20. Quantifying the Impact of Tropospheric Ozone on Crops Productivity at regional scale using JULES-crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, F.

    2016-12-01

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas. It is causing significant crop production losses. Currently, O3 concentrations are projected to increase globally, which could have a significant impact on food security. The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator modified to include crops (JULES-crop) is used here to quantify the impacts of tropospheric O3 on crop production at the regional scale until 2100. We evaluate JULES-crop against the Soybean Free-Air-Concentration-Enrichment (SoyFACE) experiment in Illinois, USA. Experimental data from SoyFACE and various literature sources is used to calibrate the parameters for soybean and ozone damage parameters in soybean in JULES-crop. The calibrated model is then applied for a transient factorial set of JULES-crop simulations over 1960-2005. Simulated yield changes are attributed to individual environmental drivers, CO2, O3 and climate change, across regions and for different crops. A mixed scenario of RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5 climatology and ozone are simulated to explore the implication of policy. The overall findings are that regions with high ozone concentration such as China and India suffer the most from ozone damage, soybean is more sensitive to O3 than other crops. JULES-crop predicts CO2 fertilisation would increase the productivity of vegetation. This effect, however, is masked by the negative impacts of tropospheric O3. Using data from FAO and JULES-crop estimated that ozone damage cost around 55.4 Billion USD per year on soybean. Irrigation improves the simulation of rice only, and it increases the relative ozone damage because drought can reduce the ozone from entering the plant stomata. RCP 8.5 scenario results in a high yield for all crops mainly due to the CO2 fertilisation effect. Mixed climate scenarios simulations suggest that RCP 8.5 CO2 concentration and RCP 2.6 O3 concentration result in the highest yield. Further works such as more crop FACE-O3 experiments and more Crop

  1. Humans as Sensors: Assessing the Information Value of Qualitative Farmer's Crop Condition Surveys for Crop Yield Monitoring and Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beguería, S.

    2017-12-01

    While large efforts are devoted to developing crop status monitoring and yield forecasting systems trough the use of Earth observation data (mostly remotely sensed satellite imagery) and observational and modeled weather data, here we focus on the information value of qualitative data on crop status from direct observations made by humans. This kind of data has a high value as it reflects the expert opinion of individuals directly involved in the development of the crop. However, they have issues that prevent their direct use in crop monitoring and yield forecasting systems, such as their non-spatially explicit nature, or most importantly their qualitative nature. Indeed, while the human brain is good at categorizing the status of physical systems in terms of qualitative scales (`very good', `good', `fair', etcetera), it has difficulties in quantifying it in physical units. This has prevented the incorporation of this kind of data into systems that make extensive use of numerical information. Here we show an example of using qualitative crop condition data to estimate yields of the most important crops in the US early in the season. We use USDA weekly crop condition reports, which are based on a sample of thousands of reporters including mostly farmers and people in direct contact with them. These reporters provide subjective evaluations of crop conditions, in a scale including five levels ranging from `very poor' to `excellent'. The USDA report indicates, for each state, the proportion of reporters fort each condition level. We show how is it possible to model the underlying non-observed quantitative variable that reflects the crop status on each state, and how this model is consistent across states and years. Furthermore, we show how this information can be used to monitor the status of the crops and to produce yield forecasts early in the season. Finally, we discuss approaches for blending this information source with other, more classical earth data sources

  2. Climate Change Impacts on Crop Production in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, V.; Gallo, A.; Carboni, G.; Spano, D.

    2011-12-01

    The agricultural sector in Nigeria is particularly important for the country's food security, natural resources, and growth agenda. The cultivable areas comprise more than 70% of the total area; however, the cultivated area is about the 35% of the total area. The most important components in the food basket of the nation are cereals and tubers, which include rice, maize, corn, millet, sorghum, yam, and cassava. These crops represent about 80% of the total agricultural product in Nigeria (from NPAFS). The major crops grown in the country can be divided into food crops (produced for consumption) and export products. Despite the importance of the export crops, the primary policy of agriculture is to make Nigeria self-sufficient in its food and fiber requirements. The projected impacts of future climate change on agriculture and water resources are expected to be adverse and extensive in these area. This implies the need for actions and measures to adapt to climate change impacts, and especially as they affect agriculture, the primary sector for Nigerian economy. In the framework of the Project Climate Risk Analysis in Nigeria (founded by World Bank Contract n.7157826), a study was made to assess the potential impact of climate change on the main crops that characterize Nigerian agriculture. The DSSAT-CSM (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer - Cropping System Model) software, version 4.5 was used for the analysis. Crop simulation models included in DSSAT are tools that simulate physiological processes of crop growth, development and production by combining genetic crop characteristics and environmental (soil and weather) conditions. For each selected crop, the models were calibrated to evaluate climate change impacts on crop production. The climate data used for the analysis are derived by the Regional Circulation Model COSMO-CLM, from 1971 to 2065, at 8 km of spatial resolution. The RCM model output was "perturbed" with 10 Global Climate Models to have

  3. Rice crop risk map in Babahoyo canton (Ecuador)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valverde Arias, Omar; Tarquis, Ana; Garrido, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    It is widely known that extreme climatic phenomena occur with more intensity and frequency. This fact has put more pressure over farming, making agricultural and livestock production riskier. In order to reduce hazards and economic loses that could jeopardize farmer's incomes and even its business continuity, it is very important to implement agriculture risk management plans by governments and institutions. One of the main strategies is transfer risk by agriculture insurance. Agriculture insurance based in indexes has a significant growth in the last decade. And consist in a comparison between measured index values with a defined threshold that triggers damage losses. However, based index insurance could not be based on an isolated measurement. It is necessary to be integrated in a complete monitoring system that uses many sources of information and tools. For example, index influence areas, crop production risk maps, crop yields, claim statistics, and so on. Crop production risk is related with yield variation of crops and livestock, due to weather, pests, diseases, and other factors that affect both the quantity and quality of commodities produced. This is the risk which farmers invest more time managing, and it is completely under their control. The aim of this study is generate a crop risk map of rice that can provide risk manager important information about the status of crop facing production risks. Then, based on this information, it will be possible to make best decisions to deal with production risk. The rice crop risk map was generated qualifying a 1:25000 scale soil and climatic map of Babahoyo canton, which is located in coast region of Ecuador, where rice is one of the main crops. The methodology to obtain crop risk map starts by establishing rice crop requirements and indentifying the risks associated with this crop. A second step is to evaluate soil and climatic conditions of the study area related to optimal crop requirements. Based on it, we can

  4. Weed management strategies for castor bean crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augusto Guerreiro Fontoura Costa

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castor bean crops are agriculturally relevant due to the quality and versatility of their oil, both for the chemical industry and for biodiesel production. Proper weed management is important for both the cultivation and the yield of castor bean crops; therefore, the intention of the present work is to review pertinent information regarding weed management, including the studies regarding weed interference periods, chemical controls for use in different crop production systems and herbicide selectivity, for castor bean crops. Weed science research for castor bean crops is scarce. One of the main weed management challenges for castor bean crops is the absence of herbicides registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MALFS. Research for viable herbicides for weed control in castor bean crops should be directed by research and/or rural extension institutions, associations and farmers cooperatives, as well as by manufactures, for the registration of these selective herbicides, which would be primarily used to control eudicotyledons in castor bean crops. New studies involving the integration of weed control methods in castor bean also may increase the efficiency of weed management, for both small farmers using traditional crop methods in the Brazilian Northeast region, as well as for areas with the potential for large scale production, using conservation tillage systems, such as the no-tillage crop production system.

  5. Alternative crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreasen, L.M.; Boon, A.D.

    1992-01-01

    Surplus cereal production in the EEC and decreasing product prices, mainly for cereals, has prompted considerable interest for new earnings in arable farming. The objective was to examine whether suggested new crops (fibre, oil, medicinal and alternative grains crops) could be considered as real alternatives. Whether a specific crop can compete economically with cereals and whether there is a market demand for the crop is analyzed. The described possibilities will result in ca. 50,000 hectares of new crops. It is expected that they would not immediately provide increased earnings, but in the long run expected price developments are more positive than for cereals. The area for new crops will not solve the current surplus cereal problem as the area used for new crops is only 3% of that used for cereals. Preconditions for many new crops is further research activities and development work as well as the establishment of processing units and organizational initiatives. Presumably, it is stated, there will then be a basis for a profitable production of new crops for some farmers. (AB) (47 refs.)

  6. Recycling of uranium by a perennial vegetation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thiry, Y.

    2005-01-01

    At sites of large scale mining and processing of uranium ore, tailings and waste rock piles are today the most visible relics of the uranium extractive industry. These mining relics are constantly subjected to weathering and leaching processes causing the dissemination of radioactive and toxic elements and sometimes requiring remedial operations. The in situ remediation of waste rock piles usually includes their revegetation for minimizing the water infiltration and for increasing surface soil stability. Thanks to its biomass density and longevity, the perennial vegetation plays an important role in stabilisation of the water cycling. The buffer role of forest vegetation can reduce water export from watersheds as well as erosion and hydrological losses of chemicals including radionuclides from contaminated sites. If long term reduction of contaminant dispersion at revegetated uranium mining sites is to be fully appreciated, then the extent of radioactive contaminant availability to forest vegetation and ecosystem cycling as well as the possible economic valorisation of the woody products must be considered. Concerned study focused on a Scots pine plantation established 35 years ago on a uranium waste rock pile (Wismuth GmbH) situated near Schlema (Germany). This investigation aimed at quantifying the mobility of uranium in the mining debris and its transport to the different tree compartments with emphasis on the processes involved. The influence of pine vegetation on uranium cycling dynamics was further assessed in terms of annual fluxes)

  7. Cover crop root, shoot, and rhizodeposit contributions to soil carbon in a no- till corn bioenergy cropping system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, E.; Grandy, S.; Wickings, K.; McDaniel, M. D.; Robertson, P.

    2016-12-01

    Crop residues are potential biofuel feedstocks, but residue removal may result in reduced soil carbon (C). The inclusion of a cover crop in a corn bioenergy system could provide additional biomass and as well as help to mitigate the negative effects of residue removal by adding belowground C to stable soil C pools. In a no-till continuous corn bioenergy system in the northern portion of the US corn belt, we used 13CO2 pulse labeling to trace C in a winter rye (secale cereale) cover crop into different soil C pools for two years following rye termination. Corn stover contributed 66 (another 163 was in harvested corn stover), corn roots 57, rye shoot 61, rye roots 59, and rye rhizodeposits 27 g C m-2 to soil C. Five months following cover crop termination, belowground cover crop inputs were three times more likely to remain in soil C pools and much of the root-derived C was in mineral- associated soil fractions. Our results underscore the importance of cover crop roots vs. shoots as a source of soil C. Belowground C inputs from winter cover crops could substantially offset short term stover removal in this system.

  8. Development of transgenic crops based on photo-biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesan, Markkandan; Lee, Hyo-Yeon; Kim, Jeong-Il; Song, Pill-Soon

    2017-11-01

    The phenotypes associated with plant photomorphogenesis such as the suppressed shade avoidance response and de-etiolation offer the potential for significant enhancement of crop yields. Of many light signal transducers and transcription factors involved in the photomorphogenic responses of plants, this review focuses on the transgenic overexpression of the photoreceptor genes at the uppermost stream of the signalling events, particularly phytochromes, crytochromes and phototropins as the transgenes for the genetic engineering of crops with improved harvest yields. In promoting the harvest yields of crops, the photoreceptors mediate the light regulation of photosynthetically important genes, and the improved yields often come with the tolerance to abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity and heavy metal ions. As a genetic engineering approach, the term photo-biotechnology has been coined to convey the idea that the greater the photosynthetic efficiency that crop plants can be engineered to possess, the stronger the resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Development of GM crops based on photoreceptor transgenes (mainly phytochromes, crytochromes and phototropins) is reviewed with the proposal of photo-biotechnology that the photoreceptors mediate the light regulation of photosynthetically important genes, and the improved yields often come with the added benefits of crops' tolerance to environmental stresses. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Frost Damage Detection in Sugarcane Crop Using Modis Images and Srtm Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudorff, B.; Alves de Aguiar, D.; Adami, M.

    2011-12-01

    Brazil is the largest world producer of sugarcane which is used to produce almost equal proportions of either sugar (food) or ethanol (biofuel). In recent years sugarcane crop production has increased fast to meet the growing market demand for sugar and ethanol. This increase has been mainly due to expansion in crop area, but sugarcane production is also subjected to several factors that influence both the agricultural crop yield (tons of stalks/ha) and the industrial yield (kg of sugar/ton of stalks). Sugarcane is a semi-perennial crop that experiences major growth during spring and summer seasons with large demands for water and high temperatures to produce good stalk formation (crop yield). The harvest is performed mainly during fall and winter seasons when water availability and temperature should be low in order to accumulate sucrose in the stalks (industrial yield). These favorable climatic conditions for sugarcane crop are found in several regions in Brazil, particularly in São Paulo state, which is the major sugarcane producer in Brazil being responsible for almost 60% of its production. Despite the favorable climate in São Paulo state there is a certain probability of frost occurrence from time to time that has a negative impact on sugarcane crop, particularly on industrial yield, reducing the amount of sugar in the stalks; having consequences on price increase and product shortage. To evaluate the impact of frost on sugarcane crop, in the field, on a state level, is not a trivial task; however, this information is relevant due to its direct impact on the consumer market. Remote sensing images allow a synoptic view and present great potential to monitor large sugarcane plantations as has been done since 2003 in São Paulo state by the Canasat Project with Landsat type images (http://www.dsr.inpe.br/laf/canasat/en/). Images acquired from sensors with high temporal resolution such as MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) present the

  10. Impact of Corn Residue Removal on Crop and Soil Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. M.; Wilhelm, W. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Voorhees, W. B.; Linden, D.

    2003-12-01

    Over-reliance on imported fuels, increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouses and sustaining food production for a growing population are three of the most important problems facing society in the mid-term. The US Department of Energy and private enterprise are developing technology necessary to use high cellulose feedstock, such as crop residues, for ethanol production. Based on production levels, corn (Zea mays L.) residue has potential as a biofuel feedstock. Crop residues are a renewable and domestic fuel source, which can reduce the rate of fossil fuel use (both imported and domestic) and provide an additional farm commodity. Crop residues protect the soil from wind and water erosion, provide inputs to form soil organic matter (a critical component determining soil quality) and play a role in nutrient cycling. Crop residues impact radiation balance and energy fluxes and reduce evaporation. Therefore, the benefits of using crop residues as fuel, which removes crop residues from the field, must be balanced against negative environmental impacts (e.g. soil erosion), maintaining soil organic matter levels, and preserving or enhancing productivity. All ramifications of new management practices and crop uses must be explored and evaluated fully before an industry is established. There are limited numbers of long-term studies with soil and crop responses to residue removal that range from negative to negligible. The range of crop and soil responses to crop residue removal was attributed to interactions with climate, management and soil type. Within limits, corn residue can be harvested for ethanol production to provide a renewable, domestic source of energy feedstock that reduces greenhouse gases. Removal rates must vary based on regional yield, climatic conditions and cultural practices. Agronomists are challenged to develop a protocol (tool) for recommending maximum permissible removal rates that ensure sustained soil productivity.

  11. Seasonal nutrient dynamics and biomass quality of giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus Greef et Deuter as energy crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoletta Nassi o Di Nasso

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of energy crops in displacing fossil fuels within the energy sector in Europe is growing. Among energy crops, the use of perennial rhizomatous grasses (PRGs seems promising owing to their high productivity and their nutrient recycling that occurs during senescence. In particular, nutrient requirements and biomass quality have a fundamental relevance to biomass systems efficiency. The objective of our study was to compare giant reed (Arundo donax L. and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter in terms of nutrient requirements and cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin content. This aim was to identify, in the Mediterranean environment, the optimal harvest time that may combine, beside a high biomass yield, high nutrient use efficiency and a good biomass quality for second generation biofuel production. The research was carried out in 2009, in San Piero a Grado, Pisa (Central Italy; latitude 43°41’ N, longitude 10°21’ E, on seven-year-old crops in a loam soil characterised by good water availability. Maximum above-ground nutrient contents were generally found in summer. Subsequently, a decrease was recorded; this suggested a nutrient remobilisation from above-ground biomass to rhizomes. In addition, miscanthus showed the highest N, P, and K use efficiency, probably related to its higher yield and its C4 pathway. Regarding biomass quality, stable values of cellulose (38%, hemicelluloses (25% and lignin (8% were reported from July onwards in both crops. Hence, these components appear not to be discriminative parameters in the choice of the harvest time in the Mediterranean environment. In conclusion, our results highlighted that, in our environment, a broad harvest period (from late autumn to winter seems suitable for these PRGs. However, further research is required to evaluate the role of rhizomes in nutrient storage and supply during the growing season, as well as ecological and productive performances in marginal

  12. Potential benefits of commercial willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) for farm-scale plant and invertebrate communities in the agri-environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rowe, Rebecca L.; Hanley, Mick E.; Goulson, Dave; Clarke, Donna J.; Doncaster, C. Patrick; Taylor, Gail [University of Southampton, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences Building, Southampton, S017 1BJ (United Kingdom)

    2011-01-15

    The cultivation of bioenergy crops (BECs) represents a significant land-use change in agri-environments, but their deployment has raised important issues globally regarding possible impacts on biodiversity. Few studies however, have systematically examined the effect of commercial scale bioenergy plantations on biodiversity in agri-ecosystems. In this study we investigate how the abundance and diversity of two key components of farmland biodiversity (ground flora and winged invertebrates) varied between mature willow Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and two alternative land-use options (arable crops and set-aside land). Although the abundance of winged invertebrates was similar across all land-uses, taxonomic composition varied markedly. Hymenoptera and large Hemiptera (>5 mm) were more abundant in willow SRC than in arable or set-aside. Similarly although plant species richness was greater in set-aside, our data show that willow SRC supports a different plant community to the other land-uses, being dominated by competitive perennial species such as Elytrigia repens and Urtica dioica. Our results suggest that under current management practices a mixed farming system incorporating willow SRC can benefit native farm-scale biodiversity. In particular the reduced disturbance in willow SRC allows the persistence of perennial plant species, potentially providing a stable refuge and food sources for invertebrates. In addition, increased Hymenoptera abundance in willow SRC could potentially have concomitant effects on ecosystem processes, as many members of this Order are important pollinators of crop plants or otherwise fulfil an important beneficial role as predators or parasites of crop pests. (author)

  13. Effects of input uncertainty on cross-scale crop modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waha, Katharina; Huth, Neil; Carberry, Peter

    2014-05-01

    The quality of data on climate, soils and agricultural management in the tropics is in general low or data is scarce leading to uncertainty in process-based modeling of cropping systems. Process-based crop models are common tools for simulating crop yields and crop production in climate change impact studies, studies on mitigation and adaptation options or food security studies. Crop modelers are concerned about input data accuracy as this, together with an adequate representation of plant physiology processes and choice of model parameters, are the key factors for a reliable simulation. For example, assuming an error in measurements of air temperature, radiation and precipitation of ± 0.2°C, ± 2 % and ± 3 % respectively, Fodor & Kovacs (2005) estimate that this translates into an uncertainty of 5-7 % in yield and biomass simulations. In our study we seek to answer the following questions: (1) are there important uncertainties in the spatial variability of simulated crop yields on the grid-cell level displayed on maps, (2) are there important uncertainties in the temporal variability of simulated crop yields on the aggregated, national level displayed in time-series, and (3) how does the accuracy of different soil, climate and management information influence the simulated crop yields in two crop models designed for use at different spatial scales? The study will help to determine whether more detailed information improves the simulations and to advise model users on the uncertainty related to input data. We analyse the performance of the point-scale crop model APSIM (Keating et al., 2003) and the global scale crop model LPJmL (Bondeau et al., 2007) with different climate information (monthly and daily) and soil conditions (global soil map and African soil map) under different agricultural management (uniform and variable sowing dates) for the low-input maize-growing areas in Burkina Faso/West Africa. We test the models' response to different levels of input

  14. Determination of the biogas and methane yield of selected energy crops. [NAchWAchsende ROhstoffe]; Ermittlung der Biogas- und Methanausbeute ausgewaehlter Nawaro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohl, Susanne

    2011-11-15

    The aim of this paper is the characterization of substrate quality and methane yield of different energy crops, which were cultivated in Schleswig-Holstein. The specific methane production of 224 variants was determined in with Hohenheim biogas yield test (HBT), 72 variants were investigated in a common batch test. The specific methane production (HBT) is 359-371 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for wheat, 358-378 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for maize and 341-372 l{sub N}/kg{sub oDM} for perennial ryegrass. The results for the specific methane production are due to a systematic offset in the batch experiment always below those of the HBT. Silages achieve higher gas yields than fresh substrates. The mass losses, which occur during ensiling, were compensated due to the higher gas yields. Maize is compared with other energy crops superior in terms of the yield per hectare. The experimentally determined methane yields showed a good agreement with calculated theoretical methane yields (method of WEIssBACH 2008, 2009).

  15. RICE CROP MAPPING USING SENTINEL-1A PHENOLOGICAL METRICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. F. Chen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Rice is the most important food crop in Vietnam, providing food more than 90 million people and is considered as an essential source of income for majority of rural populations. Monitoring rice-growing areas is thus important to developing successful strategies for food security in the country. This paper aims to develop an approach for crop acreage estimation from multi-temporal Sentinel-1A data. We processed the data for two main cropping seasons (e.g., winter–spring, summer–autumn in the Mekong River Delta (MRD, Vietnam through three main steps: (1 data pre-processing, (3 rice classification based on crop phenological metrics, and (4 accuracy assessment of the mapping results. The classification results compared with the ground reference data indicated the overall accuracy of 86.2% and Kappa coefficient of 0.72. These results were reaffirmed by close correlation between the government’s rice area statistics for such crops (R2 > 0.95. The values of relative error in area obtained for the winter–spring and summer–autumn were -3.6% and 6.7%, respectively. This study demonstrates the potential application of multi-temporal Sentinel-1A data for rice crop mapping using information of crop phenology in the study region.

  16. Genetic and Environmental Variance Among F2 Families in a Commercial Breeding Program for Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fé, Dario; Greve-Pedersen, Morten; Jensen, Christian Sig

    2013-01-01

    In the joint project “FORAGESELECT”, we aim to implement Genome Wide Selection (GWS) in breeding of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), in order to increase genetic response in important agronomic traits such as yield, seed production, stress tolerance and disease resistance, while decreasing...... of this study was to estimate the genetic and environmental variance in the training set composed of F2 families selected from a ten year breeding period. Variance components were estimated on 1193 of those families, sown in 2001, 2003 and 2005 in five locations around Europe. Families were tested together...

  17. Genetically modified crops and small-scale farmers: main opportunities and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azadi, Hossein; Samiee, Atry; Mahmoudi, Hossein; Jouzi, Zeynab; Khachak, Parisa Rafiaani; De Maeyer, Philippe; Witlox, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Although some important features of genetically modified (GM) crops such as insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, and drought tolerance might seem to be beneficial for small-scale farmers, the adoption of GM technology by smallholders is still slight. Identifying pros and cons of using this technology is important to understand the impacts of GM crops on these farmers. This article reviews the main opportunities and challenges of GM crops for small-scale farmers in developing countries. The most significant advantages of GM crops include being independent to farm size, environment protection, improvement of occupational health issues, and the potential of bio-fortified crops to reduce malnutrition. Challenges faced by small-scale farmers for adoption of GM crops comprise availability and accessibility of GM crop seeds, seed dissemination and price, and the lack of adequate information. In addition, R&D and production costs in using GM crops make it difficult for these farmers to adopt the use of these crops. Moreover, intellectual property right regulations may deprive resource poor farmers from the advantages of GM technology. Finally, concerns on socio-economic and environment safety issues are also addressed in this paper.

  18. Deconstructing crop processes and models via identities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Porter, John Roy; Christensen, Svend

    2013-01-01

    This paper is part review and part opinion piece; it has three parts of increasing novelty and speculation in approach. The first presents an overview of how some of the major crop simulation models approach the issue of simulating the responses of crops to changing climatic and weather variables......, mainly atmospheric CO2 concentration and increased and/or varying temperatures. It illustrates an important principle in models of a single cause having alternative effects and vice versa. The second part suggests some features, mostly missing in current crop models, that need to be included...

  19. Cover crops do not increase C sequestration in production crops: evidence from 12 years of continuous measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buysse, Pauline; Bodson, Bernard; Debacq, Alain; De Ligne, Anne; Heinesch, Bernard; Manise, Tanguy; Moureaux, Christine; Aubinet, Marc

    2017-04-01

    The numerous reports on carbon (C) loss from cropland soils have recently raised awareness on the climate change mitigation potential of these ecosystems, and on the necessity to improve C sequestration in these soils. Among the multiple solutions that are proposed, several field measurement and modelling studies reported that growing cover crops over fall and winter time could appear as an efficient solution. However, while the large majority of these studies are based on SOC stock inventories and very few information exists from the CO2 flux dynamics perspective. In the present work, we use the results from long-term (12 years) eddy-covariance measurements performed at the Lonzée Terrestrial Observatory (LTO, candidate ICOS site, Belgium) and focus on six intercrop periods managed with (3) and without (3) cover crops after winter wheat main crops, in order to compare their response to environmental factors and to investigate the impact of cover crops on Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE). Our results showed that cumulated NEE was not significantly affected by the presence of cover crops. Indeed, while larger CO2 assimilation occurred during cover crop growth, this carbon gain was later lost by larger respiration rates due to larger crop residue amounts brought to the soil. As modelled by a Q10-like relationship, significantly larger R10 values were indeed observed during the three intercrop periods cultivated with cover crops. These CO2 flux-based results therefore tend to moderate the generally acknowledged positive impact of cover crops on net C sequestration by croplands. Our results indicate that the effect of growing cover crops on C sequestration could be less important than announced, at least at certain sites.

  20. Genetic linkage mapping in an F2 perennial ryegrass population using DArT markers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomaszewski, C.; Byrne, S. L.; Foito, A.; Kildea, S.; Kopecký, David; Doležel, Jaroslav; Heslop-Harrison, J. S.; Stewart, D.; Barth, S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 131, č. 2 (2012), s. 345-349 ISSN 0179-9541 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50380511 Keywords : Lolium perenne * perennial ryegrass * genetic map Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.175, year: 2012

  1. Importance of NDF digestibility of whole crop maize silage for dry matter intake and milk production in dairy cows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krämer, Monika; Lund, Peter; Weisbjerg, Martin Riis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of maize silage as a feed component in cattle rations and for biogas production has substantially increased. Whole crop maize silage is a forage with a high starch concentration, but also the cell wall fraction, commonly analysed as neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) is a major energy...... source for use in ruminant nutrition. Even though ruminants require forage fibre to maintain rumen function and maximize productivity, excess fibre limits feed intake due to its contribution to physical fill in the rumen. As feed intake is the most important factor for milk production, both a......NDFom concentration and aNDFom digestibility are key determinants of the nutritive value of a diet. Therefore, the importance of maize silage aNDFom digestibility on nutritive value, dry matter (DM) intake (DMI) and milk production was investigated in a literature review across a wide range of studies varying...

  2. Lost crops of the Incas: Origins of domestication of the Andean pulse crop tarwi, Lupinus mutabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchison, Guy W; Nevado, Bruno; Eastwood, Ruth J; Contreras-Ortiz, Natalia; Reynel, Carlos; Madriñán, Santiago; Filatov, Dmitry A; Hughes, Colin E

    2016-09-01

    The Andean highlands are a hotspot of domestication, yet our understanding of the origins of early Andean agriculture remains fragmentary. Key questions of where, when, how many times, and from what progenitors many Andean crops were domesticated remain unanswered. The Andean lupine crop tarwi (Lupinus mutabilis) is a regionally important pulse crop with exceptionally high seed protein and oil content and is the focus of modern breeding efforts, but its origins remain obscure. A large genome-wide DNA polymorphism data set was generated using nextRADseq to infer relationships among more than 200 accessions of Andean Lupinus species, including 24 accessions of L. mutabilis and close relatives. Phylogenetic and demographic analyses were used to identify the likely progenitor of tarwi and elucidate the area and timing of domestication in combination with archaeological evidence. We infer that tarwi was domesticated once in northern Peru, most likely in the Cajamarca region within, or adjacent to the extant distribution of L. piurensis, which is the most likely wild progenitor. Demographic analyses suggest that tarwi split from L. piurensis around 2600 BP and suffered a classical domestication bottleneck. The earliest unequivocal archaeological evidence of domesticated tarwi seeds is from the Mantaro Valley, central Peru ca. 1800 BP. A single origin of tarwi from L. piurensis in northern Peru provides a robust working hypothesis for the domestication of this regionally important crop and is one of the first clear-cut examples of a crop originating in the highlands of northern Peru. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  3. Genetically modified crops and small-scale farmers: main opportunities and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Azadi, Hossein; Samiee, Atry; Mahmoudi, Hossein; Jouzi, Zeynab; Rafiaani Khachak, Parisa; De Maeyer, Philippe; Witlox, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Although some important features of genetically modified (GM) crops such as insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, and drought tolerance might seem to be beneficial for small-scale farmers, the adoption of GM technology by smallholders is still slight. Identifying pros and cons of using this technology is important to understand the impacts of GM crops on these farmers. This article reviews the main opportunities and challenges of GM crops for small-scale farmers in developing countrie...

  4. Global Crop Monitoring: A Satellite-Based Hierarchical Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingfang Wu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Taking advantage of multiple new remote sensing data sources, especially from Chinese satellites, the CropWatch system has expanded the scope of its international analyses through the development of new indicators and an upgraded operational methodology. The approach adopts a hierarchical system covering four spatial levels of detail: global, regional, national (thirty-one key countries including China and “sub-countries” (for the nine largest countries. The thirty-one countries encompass more that 80% of both production and exports of maize, rice, soybean and wheat. The methodology resorts to climatic and remote sensing indicators at different scales. The global patterns of crop environmental growing conditions are first analyzed with indicators for rainfall, temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR as well as potential biomass. At the regional scale, the indicators pay more attention to crops and include Vegetation Health Index (VHI, Vegetation Condition Index (VCI, Cropped Arable Land Fraction (CALF as well as Cropping Intensity (CI. Together, they characterize crop situation, farming intensity and stress. CropWatch carries out detailed crop condition analyses at the national scale with a comprehensive array of variables and indicators. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, cropped areas and crop conditions are integrated to derive food production estimates. For the nine largest countries, CropWatch zooms into the sub-national units to acquire detailed information on crop condition and production by including new indicators (e.g., Crop type proportion. Based on trend analysis, CropWatch also issues crop production supply outlooks, covering both long-term variations and short-term dynamic changes in key food exporters and importers. The hierarchical approach adopted by CropWatch is the basis of the analyses of climatic and crop conditions assessments published in the quarterly “CropWatch bulletin” which

  5. Environmental influence of willow coppice systems on farm land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ledin, S.

    1997-01-01

    As for all cultivated crops, there are numerous environmental influences when growing willows. These influences are connected with additions to the soil, management measures and changes caused by the developing crop. As a perennial crop with good root penetration into the soil, high water use and efficient nutrient uptake over a long growing season, short rotation forests with willows have an influence on the environment that differs from the influence of annual farm crops. Also the landscape is affected differently by the dense willow stand with a height of seven meters before harvest. There is usually less use of herbicides in the perennial woody crop. Due to larger amounts of litter from the willow plantation and no tillage, there is with time an increase of the humus content in the soil. In relation to this, the soil fauna, using organic material for food, prosper in the short rotation forest. Considerably more cadmium is taken up by the willows than by conventional annual crops. This could be used to clean the soil of cadmium, but more knowledge is needed for the optimisation of this procedure. Willows are usually efficient in taking up nutrients, including nitrogen, but when used as vegetation filters it is important to assess the actual ability of a stand to take up N. This ability varies considerably with the development stage of the plantation and also with site conditions. (au) 30 refs

  6. Genetically modified crops and food security.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matin Qaim

    Full Text Available The role of genetically modified (GM crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy.

  7. Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaim, Matin; Kouser, Shahzad

    2013-01-01

    The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers’ income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15–20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy. PMID:23755155

  8. Genetically modified crops and food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaim, Matin; Kouser, Shahzad

    2013-01-01

    The role of genetically modified (GM) crops for food security is the subject of public controversy. GM crops could contribute to food production increases and higher food availability. There may also be impacts on food quality and nutrient composition. Finally, growing GM crops may influence farmers' income and thus their economic access to food. Smallholder farmers make up a large proportion of the undernourished people worldwide. Our study focuses on this latter aspect and provides the first ex post analysis of food security impacts of GM crops at the micro level. We use comprehensive panel data collected over several years from farm households in India, where insect-resistant GM cotton has been widely adopted. Controlling for other factors, the adoption of GM cotton has significantly improved calorie consumption and dietary quality, resulting from increased family incomes. This technology has reduced food insecurity by 15-20% among cotton-producing households. GM crops alone will not solve the hunger problem, but they can be an important component in a broader food security strategy.

  9. Population structure, genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in perennial ryegrass populations divergently selected for freezing tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallikarjuna Rao eKovi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature is one of the abiotic stresses seriously affecting the growth of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. Understanding the genetic control of freezing tolerance would aid in the development of cultivars of perennial ryegrass with improved adaptation to frost. A total number of 80 individuals (24 of High frost [HF]; 29 of Low frost [LF] and 27 of Unselected [US] from the second generation of the two divergently selected populations and an unselected control population were genotyped using 278 genome-wide SNPs derived from Lolium perenne L. transcriptome sequence. Our studies showed that the HF and LF populations are very divergent after selection for freezing tolerance, whereas the HF and US populations are more similar. Linkage disequilibrium (LD decay varied across the seven chromosomes and the conspicuous pattern of LD between the HF and LF population confirmed their divergence in freezing tolerance. Furthermore, two Fst outlier methods; finite island model (fdist by LOSITAN and hierarchical structure model using ARLEQUIN detected six loci under directional selection. These outlier loci are most probably linked to genes involved in freezing tolerance, cold adaptation and abiotic stress and might be the potential marker resources for breeding perennial ryegrass cultivars with improved freezing tolerance.

  10. Building crop models within different crop modelling frameworks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adam, M.Y.O.; Corbeels, M.; Leffelaar, P.A.; Keulen, van H.; Wery, J.; Ewert, F.

    2012-01-01

    Modular frameworks for crop modelling have evolved through simultaneous progress in crop science and software development but differences among these frameworks exist which are not well understood, resulting in potential misuse for crop modelling. In this paper we review differences and similarities

  11. Fortifying Horticultural Crops with Essential Amino Acids: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guoping; Xu, Mengyun; Wang, Wenyi; Galili, Gad

    2017-06-19

    To feed the world's growing population, increasing the yield of crops is not the only important factor, improving crop quality is also important, and it presents a significant challenge. Among the important crops, horticultural crops (particularly fruits and vegetables) provide numerous health compounds, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be produced by the organism and, therefore, must be obtained from diet, particularly from meat, eggs, and milk, as well as a variety of plants. Extensive efforts have been devoted to increasing the levels of essential amino acids in plants. Yet, these efforts have been met with very little success due to the limited genetic resources for plant breeding and because high essential amino acid content is generally accompanied by limited plant growth. With a deep understanding of the biosynthetic pathways of essential amino acids and their interactions with the regulatory networks in plants, it should be possible to use genetic engineering to improve the essential amino acid content of horticultural plants, rendering these plants more nutritionally favorable crops. In the present report, we describe the recent advances in the enhancement of essential amino acids in horticultural plants and possible future directions towards their bio-fortification.

  12. B chromosomes are associated with redistribution of genetic recombination towards lower recombination chromosomal regions in perennial ryegrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, John; Phillips, Dylan; Thomas, Ann; Gasior, Dagmara; Evans, Caron; Powell, Wayne; King, Julie; King, Ian; Jenkins, Glyn; Armstead, Ian

    2018-04-09

    Supernumerary 'B' chromosomes are non-essential components of the genome present in a range of plant and animal species-including many grasses. Within diploid and polyploid ryegrass and fescue species, including the forage grass perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), the presence of B chromosomes has been reported as influencing both chromosome pairing and chiasma frequencies. In this study, the effects of the presence/absence of B chromosomes on genetic recombination has been investigated through generating DArT (Diversity Arrays Technology) marker genetic maps for six perennial ryegrass diploid populations, the pollen parents of which contained either two B or zero B chromosomes. Through genetic and cytological analyses of these progeny and their parents, we have identified that, while overall cytological estimates of chiasma frequencies were significantly lower in pollen mother cells with two B chromosomes as compared with zero B chromosomes, the recombination frequencies within some marker intervals were actually increased, particularly for marker intervals in lower recombination regions of chromosomes, namely pericentromeric regions. Thus, in perennial ryegrass, the presence of two B chromosomes redistributed patterns of meiotic recombination in pollen mother cells in ways which could increase the range of allelic variation available to plant breeders.

  13. JULES-crop: a parametrisation of crops in the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, T.; Gornall, J.; Hooker, J.; Williams, K.; Wiltshire, A.; Betts, R.; Wheeler, T.

    2014-10-01

    Studies of climate change impacts on the terrestrial biosphere have been completed without recognition of the integrated nature of the biosphere. Improved assessment of the impacts of climate change on food and water security requires the development and use of models not only representing each component but also their interactions. To meet this requirement the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) land surface model has been modified to include a generic parametrisation of annual crops. The new model, JULES-crop, is described and evaluation at global and site levels for the four globally important crops; wheat, soy bean, maize and rice is presented. JULES-crop demonstrates skill in simulating the inter-annual variations of yield for maize and soy bean at the global level, and for wheat for major spring wheat producing countries. The impact of the new parametrisation, compared to the standard configuration, on the simulation of surface heat fluxes is largely an alteration of the partitioning between latent and sensible heat fluxes during the later part of the growing season. Further evaluation at the site level shows the model captures the seasonality of leaf area index and canopy height better than in standard JULES. However, this does not lead to an improvement in the simulation of sensible and latent heat fluxes. The performance of JULES-crop from both an earth system and crop yield model perspective is encouraging however, more effort is needed to develop the parameterisation of the model for specific applications. Key future model developments identified include the specification of the yield gap to enable better representation of the spatial variability in yield.

  14. Radiation induced mutant crop varieties: accomplishment and societal deployment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, S.F.

    2009-01-01

    One of the peaceful applications of atomic energy is in the field of agriculture. It finds application in crop improvement, crop nutrition, crop protection and food preservation. Genetic improvement of crop plants is a continuous endeavor. Success of a crop improvement programme depends on the availability of large genetic variability, which a plant breeder can combine to generate new varieties. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (roughly 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced to several fold (approximately 10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens. Radiation induced genetic variability in crop plants is a valuable resource from which plant breeder can select and combine different desired characteristics to produce better crop varieties. Crop improvement programmes at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) envisage radiation based induced mutagenesis along with recombination breeding in country's important cereals (rice and wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean and sunflower), grain legumes (blackgram, mungbean, pigeonpea and cowpea), banana and sugarcane

  15. Plant biotechnology: transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shewry, Peter R; Jones, Huw D; Halford, Nigel G

    2008-01-01

    Transgenesis is an important adjunct to classical plant breeding, in that it allows the targeted manipulation of specific characters using genes from a range of sources. The current status of crop transformation is reviewed, including methods of gene transfer, the selection of transformed plants and control of transgene expression. The application of genetic modification technology to specific traits is then discussed, including input traits relating to crop production (herbicide tolerance and resistance to insects, pathogens and abiotic stresses) and output traits relating to the composition and quality of the harvested organs. The latter include improving the nutritional quality for consumers as well as the improvement of functional properties for food processing.

  16. Efficacy of montelukast for treating perennial allergic rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip, George; Williams-Herman, Debora; Patel, Piyush; Weinstein, Steven F; Alon, Achilles; Gilles, Leen; Tozzi, Carol A; Dass, S Balachandra; Reiss, Theodore F

    2007-01-01

    Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) is a chronic inflammatory nasal condition in individuals exposed year-round to allergens. This was a double-blind study of 15- to 85-year-old patients randomly allocated to montelukast, 10 mg (n=630), placebo (n=613), or the positive control cetirizine, 10 mg (n=122) for 6 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline in Daytime Nasal Symptoms Score (DNSS; mean of congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and itching scores, rated daily by patients [scale: 0=none to 3=severe]) averaged during the initial 4 weeks (primary analysis) or entire 6 weeks of treatment. Also assessed were combined post hoc results of primary end point data from this study and another similarly designed study (Patel P, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of montelukast for treating perennial allergic rhinitis, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 95:551, 2005). Over 4 weeks, montelukast showed numerical improvement over placebo in DNSS (least-squares mean difference of -0.04 [95% confidence interval (CI}, -0.09, 0.01]); the difference between cetirizine and placebo was significant: -0.10 (95% CI, -0.19, -0.01). However, when averaged over 6 weeks, neither active treatment was significantly different from placebo. The Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality-of-Life score was significantly improved by montelukast (p < 0.05), but not by cetirizine, during 4 and 6 weeks. The treatment effect of montelukast, but not cetirizine, generally remained consistent through the 6 weeks of treatment. In pooled data, montelukast consistently improved DNSS versus placebo during all 6 weeks of treatment (-0.07 [95% CI, -0.10, -0.041). In conclusion, montelukast produced numerical improvement in daytime nasal symptoms and significant improvement in quality of life. In a pooled post hoc analysis, montelukast provided consistent improvement in daytime nasal symptoms over 6 weeks, supportive of an overall benefit in PAR.

  17. Indische bergcultuurondernemingen voornamelijk in Zuid-Sumatra : gegevens en beschouwingen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoedt, T.G.E.

    1930-01-01

    Highland crops was here used of tropical perennial crops (cinchona, coffee, rubber, tea), cultivated mainly in mountain districts. These crops were grown on estates, owned by western companies and managed by European staff. The organization of the highland plantation industry in Java and Sumatra,

  18. Helping to increase tree crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1970-07-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  19. Helping to increase tree crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1970-01-01

    Tree crops such as coffee, coconuts, palm oil, citrus fruits and cocoa are of major importance to the economies of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and may be a prime source of foreign exchange earnings. The search for ways to improve efficiently the yields of crops like these - now being aided by the Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture operated jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization - thus has a clearly defined practical goal. D. Nethsinghe deals here with some of the work. (author)

  20. Crop yield response to climate change varies with cropping intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challinor, Andrew J; Parkes, Ben; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian

    2015-04-01

    Projections of the response of crop yield to climate change at different spatial scales are known to vary. However, understanding of the causes of systematic differences across scale is limited. Here, we hypothesize that heterogeneous cropping intensity is one source of scale dependency. Analysis of observed global data and regional crop modelling demonstrate that areas of high vs. low cropping intensity can have systematically different yields, in both observations and simulations. Analysis of global crop data suggests that heterogeneity in cropping intensity is a likely source of scale dependency for a number of crops across the globe. Further crop modelling and a meta-analysis of projected tropical maize yields are used to assess the implications for climate change assessments. The results show that scale dependency is a potential source of systematic bias. We conclude that spatially comprehensive assessments of climate impacts based on yield alone, without accounting for cropping intensity, are prone to systematic overestimation of climate impacts. The findings therefore suggest a need for greater attention to crop suitability and land use change when assessing the impacts of climate change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Economic assessment and comparison of acacia energy crop with annual traditional crops in Southern Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gasol, Carles M.; Rieradevall, Joan; Gabarrell, Xavier; Brun, Filippo; Mosso, Angela

    2010-01-01

    In several policy documents bioenergy is recognized as an important renewable energy source in Italy. The increase in energy prices represents an opportunity for lignocellulosic energy crops such as acacia and poplar. However, for Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) to be adopted by farmers, these crops must be perceived to be at least as profitable as crops that normally compete with these plantations for land use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic feasibility of acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) as an energy crop in a low input production regime in Italy and, in particular, to consider its competitiveness with wheat. Our results show that neither SRC and SRF techniques using assumed production costs (EUR3820 and EUR5285 ha -1 yr -1 ) nor biomass productions are able to obtain a positive profit (-EUR184 and -EUR172 ha -1 yr -1 ) that can convince farmers to invest in biomass plantations on their land. The results demonstrate that wheat is a more economically secure option than SRC or SRF. The viability of local biomass production in Italy and Southern Europe depends on the active support of the governments; without them, biomass is not economically competitive for the farmers when compared to crops such as wheat. (author)

  2. Immunomodulatory and antioxidant protective effect of Sarcocornia perennis L. (swampfire) in lead intoxicated rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargouri, Manel; Hamed, Houda; Akrouti, Amel; Christian, Magné; Ksouri, Riadh; El Feki, Abdelfattah

    2017-11-01

    Lead (Pb) is a very toxic metal present in the environment, causing disturbances of several functions. Preventive or curative effects of halophytic plants against these disorders may be a promising and safe therapeutic strategy. Thus, this study was designed to evaluate in vivo immunomodulatory and antioxidant effects of Sarcocornia perennis extract (Sp) against lead toxicity in rats. Groups of six animals each were treated with plant extract (via food), 6 g/L lead acetate (via drinking water) or a combination of both. At the end of the three-week period, rat exposure to lead caused reduction of liver weight but an increase of that of kidney. Moreover, lead intoxication-induced oxidative stress manifested by significant increases of inflammatory cytokines (except IL-10) and lipid peroxidation (TBARS), compared with the control group. Meanwhile, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and glutathione levels (GSH), as well as antioxidant activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), were decreased. Considering liver and renal markers, lead treatment induced a significant increase in the activities of aminotransferases (AST, ALT), and in the levels of urea, creatinine and phosphorous, whereas total plasma protein, albumin and calcium levels were significantly decreased. S. perennis extract alone did not induce any significant changes in hepatic or renal markers, whereas the antioxidant markers were significantly increased. S. perennis supplementation significantly reduced the lead-induced elevation of serum IL-1ß, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and TBARS but increased the IL-10 and antioxidant enzyme activities. Overall, plant components ameliorated hepatorenal damages caused by lead.

  3. Techniques for detecting genetically modified crops and products ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The cultivation of genetically modified crops is becoming increasingly important; more traits are emerging and more acres than ever before are being planted with GM varieties. The release of GM crops and products in the markets worldwide has increased the regulatory need to monitor and verify the presence and the ...

  4. Effect of Mixed Systems on Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric

    2017-04-01

    The goals of this non-irrigated research has been to determine the effect of mixed systems integration on crop, soil, and beef cattle production in the northern Great Plains region of the United States. Over a 5-year period, growing spring wheat (HRSW-C) continuously year after year was compared to a 5-year crop rotation that included spring wheat (HRSW-R), cover crop (dual crop consisting of winter triticale/hairy vetch seeded in the fall and harvested for hay followed by a 7-species cover crop that was seeded in June after hay harvest), forage corn, field pea/barley, and sunflower. Control 5-year HRSW yield was 2690 kg/ha compared to 2757 kg/ha for HRSW grown in rotation. Available soil nitrogen (N) is often the most important limitation for crop production. Expensive fertilizer inputs were reduced in this study due to the mixed system's complementarity in which the rotation system that included beef cattle grazing sustained N availability and increased nutrient cycling, which had a positive effect on all crops grown in the rotation. Growing HRSW continuously requires less intensive management and in this research was 14.5% less profitable. Whereas, when crop management increased and complementing crops were grown in rotation to produce crops and provide feed for grazing livestock, soil nutrient cycling improved. Increased nutrient cycling increased crop rotation yields and yearling beef cattle steers that grazing annual forages in the rotation gain more body weight than similar steers grazing NGP native range. Results of this long-term research will be presented in a PICO format for participant discussion.

  5. Radiation balance of an alfalfa crop in Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Yemeni, M.N.; Grace, J.

    1995-01-01

    Short-wave reflectivity or albedo is an important component of net radiation which represents the major determinant of radiation balance of crop surface. This study was conducted on an irrigated alfalfa crop field at Al-Kharj agricultural area in Saudi Arabia, grown according to normal agricultural practices. Data on radiation balance and crop cover were collected over a number of days from March to October 1986, crop albedo varying from 0–4 in early morning to 0–20 at noon, the overall mean value of the crop albedo being estimated at 0–26. The relation between the individual components of radiation balance was studied, and a significant correlation between incident radiation and net radiation was found. Possible causes responsible for changes in crop albedo were discussed. (author)

  6. Recent evolution of China's virtual water trade: analysis of selected crops and considerations for policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, J.; Liu, J.; Pinter, L.

    2013-09-01

    China has dramatically increased its virtual water import unconsciously for recent years. Many studies have focused on the quantity of traded virtual water but very few go into analysing geographic distribution and the properties of China's virtual water trade network. This paper provides a calculation and analysis of the crop-related virtual water trade network of China based on 27 major primary crops between 1986 and 2009. The results show that China is a net importer of virtual water from water-abundant areas of North and South America, and a net virtual water exporter to water-stressed areas of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Virtual water import is far larger than virtual water export and in both import and export a small number of trade partners control the supply chain. Grain crops are the major contributors to virtual water trade, and among grain crops soybeans, mostly imported from the US, Brazil and Argentina are the most significant. As crop yield and crop water productivity in North and South America are generally higher than those in Asia and Africa, the effect of China's crop-related virtual water trade positively contributes to optimizing crop water use efficiency at the global scale. In order to mitigate water scarcity and secure the food supply, virtual water should be actively incorporated into national water management strategies. From the national perspective, China should reduce the export and increase the import of water-intensive crops. But the sources of virtual water import need to be further diversified to reduce supply chain risks and increase resilience.

  7. Association of candidate genes with drought tolerance traits in diverse perennial ryegrass accessions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaoqing Yu; Guihua Bai; Shuwei Liu; Na Luo; Ying Wang; Douglas S. Richmond; Paula M. Pijut; Scott A. Jackson; Jianming Yu; Yiwei. Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Drought is a major environmental stress limiting growth of perennial grasses in temperate regions. Plant drought tolerance is a complex trait that is controlled by multiple genes. Candidate gene association mapping provides a powerful tool for dissection of complex traits. Candidate gene association mapping of drought tolerance traits was conducted in 192 diverse...

  8. Crop insurance: Risks and models of insurance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Čolović Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The issue of crop protection is very important because of a variety of risks that could cause difficult consequences. One type of risk protection is insurance. The author in the paper states various models of insurance in some EU countries and the systems of subsidizing of insurance premiums by state. The author also gives a picture of crop insurance in the U.S., noting that in this country pays great attention to this matter. As for crop insurance in Serbia, it is not at a high level. The main problem with crop insurance is not only the risks but also the way of protection through insurance. The basic question that arises not only in the EU is the question is who will insure and protect crops. There are three possibilities: insurance companies under state control, insurance companies that are public-private partnerships or private insurance companies on a purely commercial basis.

  9. Modeling Miscanthus in the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) to simulate its water quality effects as a bioenergy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Tze Ling; Eheart, J Wayland; Cai, Ximing; Miguez, Fernando

    2010-09-15

    There is increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and feedstock for second-generation cellulosic biofuels. The primary objective of this study is to estimate the potential effects on riverine nitrate load of cultivating Miscanthus x giganteus in place of conventional crops. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to model miscanthus growth and streamwater quality in the Salt Creek watershed in Illinois. SWAT has a built-in crop growth component, but, as miscanthus is relatively new as a potentially commercial crop, data on the SWAT crop growth parameters for the crop are lacking. This leads to the second objective of this study, which is to estimate those parameters to facilitate the modeling of miscanthus in SWAT. Results show a decrease in nitrate load that depends on the percent land use change to miscanthus and the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to the miscanthus. Specifically, assuming a nitrogen fertilization rate for miscanthus of 90 kg-N/ha, a 10%, 25%, and 50% land use change to miscanthus will lead to decreases in nitrate load of about 6.4%, 16.5%, and 29.6% at the watershed outlet, respectively. Likewise, nitrate load may be reduced by lowering the fertilizer application rate, but not proportionately. When fertilization drops from 90 to 30 kg-N/ha the difference in nitrate load decrease is less than 1% when 10% of the watershed is miscanthus and less than 6% when 50% of the watershed is miscanthus. It is also found that the nitrate load decrease from converting less than half the watershed to miscanthus from corn and soybean in 1:1 rotation surpasses that from converting the whole watershed to just soybean.

  10. Expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellite markers of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Studer, Bruno; Asp, Torben; Frei, Ursula

    2008-01-01

    An expressed sequence tag (EST) library of the key grassland species perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) has been exploited as a resource for microsatellite marker development. Out of 955 simple sequence repeat (SSR) containing ESTs, 744 were used for primer design. Primer amplification was te...

  11. The central and eastern Arabian Sea as a perennial source of atmospheric carbon dioxide

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarma, V.V.S.S.; DileepKumar, M.; George, M.D.

    circulation and biological production. In all seasons, the pCO sub(2) is higher in surface waters of the Arabian Sea, except along the Indian coast in the southwest monsoon, than that in atmosphere, and thus this region appears to be a perennial source...

  12. Comunidades de malezas en cultivos hortícolas en la Provincia de Neuquén (Argentina Weed's communities in vegetable crops in Neuquen Province, (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Beatriz Cerazo

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available La gran mayoría de los cultivos hortícolas son muy sensibles a la competencia de malezas, las cuales inciden en los rendimientos y calidad de los mismos y en ocasiones determinan la pérdida total del cultivo. El presente trabajo tuvo como objetivo conocer la composición florística de las comunidades de malezas y su análisis sintaxonómico, ya que ambos constituyen un buen parámetro para medir el estado de los cultivos. La vegetación fue muestreada siguiendo la metodología de Braun Blanquet, en explotaciones de seis localidades de la provincia. A partir de esta información se determinaron ocho asociaciones, de las cuales seis están comprendidas en la clase Stellarietea mediae (Br. Bl. 1931 Tx., Prsg. et Lohm, 1950 y las dos restantes en Artemisietea vulgaris Lohm, Prsg et Tüxen 1950. El deficiente estado del cultivo está señalado por el desarrollo de malezas perennes de difícil control, incluidas en su mayoría en la clase Artemisietea vulgaris. Se inventariaron ochenta y nueve especies, para los periodos otoño- invierno y primavera - verano. Existe un claro predominio de Dicotiledóneas (79 % sobre Monocotiledóneas y de malezas anuales (66 % sobre perennes.Most vegetable crops are very sensitive to the weed competition, which affects the yields and quality and sometimes the total lost of the crop. The objective of this study was to evaluate the floristic composition of the weed communities and to analyse its sintaxonomy, because both are effective parameters for measuring the state of the crop. The vegetation was sampled following the Braun-Blanquet methodology on farms in six localities in the province. We determined eight associations from this information: six are included in the class Stellarietea mediae (Br. Bl. 1931 Tx., Prsg. et Lohm, 1950 and the other two in Artemisietea vulgaris Lohm, Prsg and Tüxen 1950. The deficient state of the crop resulted from the development of perennial and difficult to control weeds, most of

  13. Biogas production from energy crops and crop residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehtomaeki, A.

    2006-07-01

    The feasibility of utilising energy crops and crop residues in methane production through anaerobic digestion in boreal conditions was evaluated in this thesis. Potential boreal energy crops and crop residues were screened for their suitability for methane production, and the effects of harvest time and storage on the methane potential of crops was evaluated. Codigestion of energy crops and crop residues with cow manure, as well as digestion of energy crops alone in batch leach bed reactors with and without a second stage upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) or methanogenic filter (MF) were evaluated. The methane potentials of crops, as determined in laboratory methane potential assays, varied from 0.17 to 0.49 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} (volatile solids added) and from 25 to 260 m3 CH4 t-1 ww (tons of wet weight). Jerusalem artichoke, timothy-clover and reed canary grass gave the highest methane potentials of 2 900-5 400 m3 CH{sub 4} ha-1, corresponding to a gross energy potential of 28-53 MWh ha-1 and 40 000-60 000 km ha-1 in passenger car transport. The methane potentials per ww increased with most crops as the crops matured. Ensiling without additives resulted in minor losses (0-13%) in the methane potential of sugar beet tops but more substantial losses (17-39%) in the methane potential of grass, while ensiling with additives was shown to have potential in improving the methane potentials of these substrates by up to 19-22%. In semi-continuously fed laboratory continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) co-digestion of manure and crops was shown feasible with feedstock VS containing up to 40% of crops. The highest specific methane yields of 0.268, 0.229 and 0.213 m3 CH{sub 4} kg-1 VS{sub added} in co-digestion of cow manure with grass, sugar beet tops and straw, respectively, were obtained with 30% of crop in the feedstock, corresponding to 85-105% of the methane potential in the substrates as determined by batch assays. Including 30% of crop in

  14. Soil fertility, crop biodiversity, and farmers' revenues: Evidence from Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Falco, Salvatore; Zoupanidou, Elisavet

    2017-03-01

    This paper analyzes the interplay between soil fertility, crop biodiversity, and farmers' revenues. We use a large, original, farm-level panel dataset. Findings indicate that both crop biodiversity and soil fertility have positive effects on farmers' revenues. It is also shown that crop biodiversity and soil fertility may act as substitutes. These results provide evidence for the important role of diversity in the resilience of agroecosystems. Crop diversification can be a potential strategy to support productivity when soils are less fertile.

  15. Network-assisted crop systems genetics: network inference and integrative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tak; Kim, Hyojin; Lee, Insuk

    2015-04-01

    Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has enabled the decoding of many crop species genomes, most of the underlying genetic components for economically important crop traits remain to be determined. Network approaches have proven useful for the study of the reference plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, and the success of network-based crop genetics will also require the availability of a genome-scale functional networks for crop species. In this review, we discuss how to construct functional networks and elucidate the holistic view of a crop system. The crop gene network then can be used for gene prioritization and the analysis of resequencing-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) data, the amount of which will rapidly grow in the field of crop science in the coming years. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Teaching Writing: Some Perennial Questions and Some Possible Answers. Occasional Paper No. 85.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florio-Ruane, Susan; Dunn, Saundra

    Based on the premise that writing research will be useful to educators only to the extent that it offers them conceptual tools to use in framing and solving their own problems, this paper reviews studies that address educators' perennial concerns about writing instruction. Among the questions addressed in the paper are those concerning (1) the…

  17. Impact of crop residue management on crop production and soil chemistry after seven years of crop rotation in temperate climate, loamy soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Barbieux, Sophie; Pierreux, Jérôme; Olivier, Claire; Lobet, Guillaume; Roisin, Christian; Garré, Sarah; Colinet, Gilles; Bodson, Bernard; Dumont, Benjamin

    2018-01-01

    Society is increasingly demanding a more sustainable management of agro-ecosystems in a context of climate change and an ever growing global population. The fate of crop residues is one of the important management aspects under debate, since it represents an unneglectable quantity of organic matter which can be kept in or removed from the agro-ecosystem. The topic of residue management is not new, but the need for global conclusion on the impact of crop residue management on the agro-ecosystem linked to local pedo-climatic conditions has become apparent with an increasing amount of studies showing a diversity of conclusions. This study specifically focusses on temperate climate and loamy soil using a seven-year data set. Between 2008 and 2016, we compared four contrasting residue management strategies differing in the amount of crop residues returned to the soil (incorporation vs. exportation of residues) and in the type of tillage (reduced tillage (10 cm depth) vs. conventional tillage (ploughing at 25 cm depth)) in a field experiment. We assessed the impact of the crop residue management on crop production (three crops-winter wheat, faba bean and maize-cultivated over six cropping seasons), soil organic carbon content, nitrate ([Formula: see text]), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) soil content and uptake by the crops. The main differences came primarily from the tillage practice and less from the restitution or removal of residues. All years and crops combined, conventional tillage resulted in a yield advantage of 3.4% as compared to reduced tillage, which can be partly explained by a lower germination rate observed under reduced tillage, especially during drier years. On average, only small differences were observed for total organic carbon (TOC) content of the soil, but reduced tillage resulted in a very clear stratification of TOC and also of P and K content as compared to conventional tillage. We observed no effect of residue management on the [Formula: see

  18. Dry matter production of perennial pasture Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp under different doses of fertilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karlize Prigol

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Dairy farming is an activity that provides the small rural farmer the opportunity to earn income in small areas of land. The perennial pastures represent a source for a cheap and nutritious diet for the animals. The correct management of perennial pastures can be the key to sustainability in the dairy business, resulting in the preservation or recovery of the balance of a pasture system, starting with the pursuit of production with low costs and good pasture production per unit area. The correct choice of fertilizer is of great importance to ensure the continuous production of pasture both in quantity and in quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dry matter production of perennial pasture consisting of Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp under different nutrient sources on a typical dystrophic Red Latosol, presents in a region where the climate is characterized as humid-mesothermic with a hot summer, Cfa according to Köppen, with an average annual rainfall of 2039 mm, well distributed throughout the year and average annual temperatures around 18 º C, varying monthly from 14.1 to 23 º C. The treatments consisted of three nutrient sources: 1 organic manure, a base of chicken bedding (average values of reference NPK (02/03/02, 2 organic manure + mineral - organic mineral, with application of 606 kg ha-1 (04/10/10 Formula, aiming to adjust the same amounts of NPK supplied by mineral fertilizer and, 3 Mineral. The experimental design was a randomized blocks with nine replications. We collected five samples of each pasture treatment for determination of the average. After cutting the pasture of Tifton 85, the samples were subjected to weighing for determination of wet weight and then taken to the drying oven (temperature 65 ° C for 72 hours to determine dry matter production. The statistical analysis was performed with SAS for Windows computer system (SAS and the results submitted to the Tukey test at 5%. The highest dry matter yield (kg ha-1 was

  19. Connecting Biochemical Photosynthesis Models with Crop Models to Support Crop Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Alex; Song, Youhong; van Oosterom, Erik J; Hammer, Graeme L

    2016-01-01

    The next advance in field crop productivity will likely need to come from improving crop use efficiency of resources (e.g., light, water, and nitrogen), aspects of which are closely linked with overall crop photosynthetic efficiency. Progress in genetic manipulation of photosynthesis is confounded by uncertainties of consequences at crop level because of difficulties connecting across scales. Crop growth and development simulation models that integrate across biological levels of organization and use a gene-to-phenotype modeling approach may present a way forward. There has been a long history of development of crop models capable of simulating dynamics of crop physiological attributes. Many crop models incorporate canopy photosynthesi