WorldWideScience

Sample records for woody crop improvement

  1. The role of short-rotation woody crops in sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepard, J.P.; Tolbert, V.R.

    1996-01-01

    One answer to increase wood production is by increasing management intensity on existing timberland, especially in plantation forests. Another is to convert land currently in agriculture to timberland. Short-rotation woody crops can be used in both cases. But, what are the environmental consequences? Short-rotation woody crops can provide a net improvement in environmental quality at both local and global scales. Conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation woody crops can provide the most environmental quality enhancement by reducing erosion, improving soil quality, decreasing runoff, improving groundwater quality, and providing better wildlife habitat. Forest products companies can use increased production from intensively managed short-rotation woody crop systems to offset decreased yield from the portion of their timberland that is managed less intensively, e.g. streamside management zones and other ecologically sensitive or unique areas. At the global scale, use of short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy is part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Incorporating short-rotation woody crops into the agricultural landscape also increases storage of carbon in the soil, thus reducing atmospheric concentrations. In addition, use of wood instead of alternatives such as steel, concrete, and plastics generally consumes less energy and produces less greenhouse gases. Cooperative research can be used to achieve energy, fiber, and environmental goals. This paper will highlight several examples of ongoing cooperative research projects that seek to enhance the environmental aspects of short-rotation woody crop systems. Government, industry, and academia are conducting research to study soil quality, use of mill residuals, nutrients in runoff and groundwater, and wildlife use of short-rotation woody crop systems in order to assure the role of short-rotation crops as a sustainable way of meeting society's needs

  2. Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brower, Michael [CRC Development, LLC, Oakland, CA (United States)

    2012-09-30

    CRC Development LLC is pursuing commercialization of shrub willow crops to evaluate and confirm estimates of yield, harvesting, transportation and renewable energy conversion costs and to provide a diverse resource in its supply portfolio.The goal of Closed Loop Short Rotation Woody Biomass Energy Crops is supply expansion in Central New York to facilitate the commercialization of willow biomass crops as part of the mix of woody biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. CRC Development LLC established the first commercial willow biomass plantation acreage in North America was established on the Tug Hill in the spring of 2006 and expanded in 2007. This was the first 230- acres toward the goal of 10,000 regional acres. This project replaces some 2007-drought damaged acreage and installs a total of 630-acre new planting acres in order to demonstrate to regional agricultural producers and rural land-owners the economic vitality of closed loop short rotation woody biomass energy crops when deployed commercially in order to motivate new grower entry into the market-place. The willow biomass will directly help stabilize the fuel supply for the Lyonsdale Biomass facility, which produces 19 MWe of power and exports 15,000 pph of process steam to Burrows Paper. This project will also provide feedstock to The Biorefinery in New York for the manufacture of renewable, CO2-neutral liquid transportation fuels, chemicals and polymers. This project helps end dependency on imported fossil fuels, adds to region economic and environmental vitality and contributes to national security through improved energy independence.

  3. 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.

  4. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-01-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes, and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application. These field plot studies are serving as the basis for a water shed study initiated in 1997. Results from the two studies will be used to develop and model nutrient and hydrologic budgets for woody crop plantings to identify potential constraints to sustainable deployment of short-rotation woody crops in the southeastern United States. (author)

  5. Woody biomass from short rotation energy crops. Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.S., Jr. Zalesny Jr.; M.W. Cunningham; R.B. Hall; J. Mirck; D.L. Rockwood; J.A. Stanturf; T.A. Volk

    2011-01-01

    Short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) are ideal for woody biomass production and management systems because they are renewable energy feedstocks for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts that can be strategically placed in the landscape to conserve soil and water, recycle nutrients, and sequester carbon. This chapter is a synthesis of the regional implications of producing...

  6. Stress Coefficients for Soil Water Balance Combined with Water Stress Indicators for Irrigation Scheduling of Woody Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Isabel Ferreira

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available There are several causes for the failure of empirical models to estimate soil water depletion and to calculate irrigation depths, and the problem is particularly critical in tall, uneven, deficit irrigated (DI crops in Mediterranean climates. Locally measured indicators that quantify water status are useful for addressing those causes and providing feed-back information for improving the adequacy of simple models. Because of their high aerodynamic resistance, the canopy conductance of woody crops is an important factor in determining evapotranspiration (ET, and accurate stress coefficient (Ks values are needed to quantify the impact of stomatal closure on ET. A brief overview of basic general principles for irrigation scheduling is presented with emphasis on DI applications that require Ks modelling. The limitations of existing technology related to scheduling of woody crops are discussed, including the shortcomings of plant-based approaches. In relation to soil water deficit and/or predawn leaf water potential, several woody crop Ks functions are presented in a secondary analysis. Whenever the total and readily available water data were available, a simple Ks model was tested. The ultimate aim of this discussion is to illustrate the central concept: that a combination of simple ET models and water stress indicators is required for scheduling irrigation of deep-rooted woody crops.

  7. Engineering developments for small-scale harvest, storage and combustion of woody crops in Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savoie, P.; Ouellet-Plamondon, C.; Morissette, R.; Preto, F. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec City, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Although wood remains an important source of energy for cooking and heating in developing countries, it has been largely replaced by fossil fuels, nuclear energy and hydroelectric power in developed countries. Given the need to diversify sources of energy, wood energy is being revitalized in developed countries. This paper reported on a current research program on woody crops at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The research involves the development of a woody crop harvester to collect small size trees in plantations as well as in natural growth. The harvested package is a small round bale that enables natural drying from about 50 per cent moisture at harvest, down to 30 and 20 per cent after 4 to 6 months of storage outside and under shelter, respectively. The combustion value of woody crops averaged 19.4 GJ/t on a dry matter basis with little variation. The woody crops can be pulverized into fine particles, dried artificially to 10 per cent moisture content and processed into pellets for combustion. In a practical trial, more than 7.5 MJ/t DM were needed to produce pellets without providing more energy than coarse wood chips. The rural applications for this biomass include heating community and farm buildings and drying crops. These applications can use locally grown woody crops such as willow, or forest residues such as branches and bark in the form of chips to replace fossil energy sources.

  8. Woody crops conference 2013; Agrarholz-Kongress 2013

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-06-01

    Within the Guelzow expert discussions at 19th and 20th February 2013 in Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany) the following lectures were held: (1) Research funding of the BMELV in the field of the production of woody crops (Andreas Schuette); (2) ELKE - Development of extensive concepts of land use for the production of renewable raw materials as possible compensatory measures and substitute measures (Frank Wegener); (3) Knowledge transfer to the realm of practice, experiences of the DLG (Frank Setzer); (4) Results of the tests with fast growing tree species after 18 years of cultivation in Guelzow (Andreas Gurgel); (5) Latest findings on the production of woody crops in Brandenburg (D. Murach); (6) Phytosanitary situation in short-rotation coppices in Germany - Current state of knowledge and prognoses for the future (Christiane Helbig); (7) Evaluation of alternative delivery procedures in short-rotation coppices (Janine Schweier); (8) With a short-rotation coppice shredder through Germany (Wolfram Kudlich); (9) Changes of land-use of traditional crops rotation systems to short-rotation coppices consisting of poplar trees and willow trees, which sites are suitable? - Selected results from the ProLoc association (Martin Hofmann); (10) Cultivation of populus tremula for short-rotation coppices at agricultural areas (Mirko Liesebach); (11) Investigations of the resistance behaviour of newly developed black poplar clones and balsam poplar clones against the poplar leave rust Melampsora larici-populina (Christina Fey-Wagner); (12) A agri-forestry system for ligneous energy production in the organic farming - First results from cultivation experiments in Bavaria (Klaus Wiesinger); (13) Implementation of agri-forestry systems with energy wood in the rural area - the project AgroForstEnergie (Armin Vetter); (14) Impact of agroforestry land utilization on microclimate, soil fertility and quality of water (Christian Boehm).

  9. Woody legume fallow productivity, biological N2-fixation and residual benefits to two successive maize crops in Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chikowo, R.; Mapfumo, P.; Nyamugafata, P.; Giller, K.E.

    2004-01-01

    Three woody legumes were planted as two-year 'improved fallows' to evaluate their residual nitrogen (N) effects on two subsequent maize crops under minimum and conventional tillage management. Maize monoculture and cowpea-maize-maize sequence treatments were included as controls. N-2-fixation was

  10. Short rotation woody crops: Using agroforestry technology for energy in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, L.L.; Ranney, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    Agroforestry in the United States is being primarily defined as the process of using trees in agricultural systems for conservation purposes and multiple products. The type of agroforestry most commonly practiced in many parts of the world, that is the planting of tree crops in combination with food crops or pasture, is the type least commonly practiced in the United States. One type of agroforestry technique, which is beginning now and anticipated to expand to several million acres in the United States, is the planting of short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) primarily to provide fiber and fuel. Research on SRWC's and environmental concerns are described

  11. Harvest of woody crops with a bio-baler in eight different environments in Minnesota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Current, D. [Minnesota Univ., MN (United States); Savoie, P. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec City, PQ (Canada); Hebert, P.L. [Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada). Dept. des sols et de genie agroalimentaire; Robert, F.S. [Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada). Sols et environnement; Gillitzdr, P.

    2010-07-01

    The biobaler was originally developed for short-rotation willow plantations, but can currently harvest a wide range of woody crops with a basal diameter up to 150 mm. The biobaler is an alternate approach to harvest woody crops as round bales, generally 1.2 m wide by 1.5 m diameter. In addition to harvesting trees, it can improve management of wild brush, forest understory vegetation and encroaching small trees on abandoned land. It allows easy handling, storage and transportation to sites where the biomass can be used for energy use or other applications. This paper reported on a study that was conducted in the fall of 2009 in which a third generation biobaler was used on 8 different sites across Minnesota, notably Waseca, Madelia, Faribault, Afton, Ogilvie, Hinckley, Aurora and Hibbing. A total of 160 bales were harvested from these sites. The average bale mass was 466 kg and average bale density was 296 kg/m{sup 3}. The moisture content averaged 44.9 per cent and the bale dry matter density averaged 163 kg DM/m{sup 3}. The harvested biomass per unit area ranged from 2.49 t/ha on lightly covered land to 55.24 t/ha on densely covered land. The harvested or recovered biomass was 72.3 per cent of the original cottonwood in Madelia; 75.8 per cent of the original oak and maple shrubs in Afton; and 73.5 per cent of the poplar regeneration in Hibbing. The actual harvest rate averaged 17.40 bales/h.

  12. Planting woody crops on dredged contaminated sediment provides both positive and negative effects in terms of remediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartley, William, E-mail: w.hartley@salford.ac.uk [School of Computing, Science and Engineering, University of Salford, Cockcroft Building, Salford M5 4WT (United Kingdom); Riby, Philip [School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Dickinson, Nicholas M. [Department of Ecology, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury (New Zealand); Shutes, Brian [Urban Pollution Research Centre, Department of Natural Sciences, Middlesex University, Hendon, London NW4 4BT (United Kingdom); Sparke, Shaun [School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Scholz, Miklas [School of Computing, Science and Engineering, University of Salford, Cockcroft Building, Salford M5 4WT (United Kingdom)

    2011-12-15

    There is currently a requirement for studies focusing on the long-term sustainability of phytoremediation technologies. Trace element uptake by Salix, Populus and Alnus species planted in dredged contaminated canal sediment and concentrations in sediment and pore waters were investigated, eight years after a phytoremediation trial was initiated in NW England. Soil biological activity was also measured using invertebrate and microbial assays to determine soil quality improvements. Zinc was the dominant trace metal in foliage and woody stems, and the most mobile trace element in sediment pore water ({approx}14 mg l{sup -1}). Biological activity had improved; earthworm numbers had increased from 5 to 24, and the QBS index (an index of microarthropod groups in soil) had increased from 70 to 88. It is concluded that biological conditions had improved and natural processes appear to be enhancing soil quality, but there remains a potential risk of trace element transfer to the wider environment. - Highlights: > Trees provide positive and negative effects for remediation of dredged sediment. > Biological conditions had improved and natural processes enhance soil quality. > Zinc was the dominant trace metal in foliage and sediment pore waters. > Metal contaminants remain a problem in relation to their wider environmental fate. > A sustainable environment appears to be forming as a result of natural attenuation. - Soil biological quality improves in a woody crop stand eight years after a phytoremediation trial.

  13. Woody plants and land use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huxley, P.A.

    1982-01-01

    The importance of woody species in land use systems has recently gained international attention. In addition to the production of food and fuelwood, trees can maintain or improve the fertility status of the soil and conserve both soil and water. The use of multipurpose trees in land use system and the important role of trees in association with other crops is now recognized. The methods of scientifically studying such systems, and of manipulating them to improve their productivity or net utility have not been well developed. This introductory paper documents the role of woody species in agriculture, forestry and agroforestry. It outlines some of the important research needs for such systems and the role which isotopes could play in the research. (author)

  14. Advances in induced resistance by natural compounds: towards new options for woody crop protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenio Llorens

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The activation of defensive responses of plants is a promising tool for controlling pests in conventional agriculture. Over the last few years, several compounds have been studied to protect crops from pests, without displaying direct toxicity for pathogenic organisms. These compounds have the ability to induce a priming state on the plants that results in resistance (or tolerance against subsequent infection by a pathogen. In terms of molecular response, induced plant defense involves a broad number of physical and biochemical changes such as callose deposition or phenolic compounds, activation of salicylic and/or jasmonic acid pathways or synthesis of defense-related enzymes. Despite the large number of studies performed to ascertain the physiological and biochemical basis of induced resistance, only a few resistance-activating compounds have been studied as a real alternative to classic means of control and the studies geared towards incorporating induced resistance into disease management programs are relatively rare. The incorporation of natural resistance inducer in pest management programs of woody crops, alone or in combination with classical methods, could be a reliable method for reducing the amount of chemical residues in the environment. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of induced resistance in woody crops, focusing on the mode of action of compounds authorized for conventional agriculture. We conclude by discussing the environmental and economic advantages of applying resistance inducers to conventional agriculture with special emphasis on natural compounds.

  15. Short-rotation woody-crops program. Quarterly progress report for period ending August 31, 1981

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cushman, J.H.; Ranney, J.W.

    1982-04-01

    Progress of twenty-one projects in the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program is summarized for the period June 1 through August 31, 1981. Individual quarterly reports included from each of the projects discuss accomplishments within specific project objectives and identify recent papers and publications resulting from the research. The major program activities are species screening and genetic selection, stand establishment and cultural treatment, and harvest, collection, transportation, and storage.

  16. Short-rotation woody-crops program. Quarterly progress report for period ending May 31, 1981

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cushman, J.H.; Ranney, J.W.

    1982-04-01

    Progress of twenty projects in the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program is summarized for the period March 1 through May 31, 1981. Individual quarterly reports included from each of the projects discuss accomplishments within specific project objectives and identify recent papers and publications resulting from the research. The major project activities are species screening and genetic selection, stand establishment and cultural treatment, and harvest, collection, transportation, and storage.

  17. Planting woody crops on dredged contaminated sediment provides both positive and negative effects in terms of remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, William; Riby, Philip; Dickinson, Nicholas M.; Shutes, Brian; Sparke, Shaun; Scholz, Miklas

    2011-01-01

    There is currently a requirement for studies focusing on the long-term sustainability of phytoremediation technologies. Trace element uptake by Salix, Populus and Alnus species planted in dredged contaminated canal sediment and concentrations in sediment and pore waters were investigated, eight years after a phytoremediation trial was initiated in NW England. Soil biological activity was also measured using invertebrate and microbial assays to determine soil quality improvements. Zinc was the dominant trace metal in foliage and woody stems, and the most mobile trace element in sediment pore water (∼14 mg l -1 ). Biological activity had improved; earthworm numbers had increased from 5 to 24, and the QBS index (an index of microarthropod groups in soil) had increased from 70 to 88. It is concluded that biological conditions had improved and natural processes appear to be enhancing soil quality, but there remains a potential risk of trace element transfer to the wider environment. - Highlights: → Trees provide positive and negative effects for remediation of dredged sediment. → Biological conditions had improved and natural processes enhance soil quality. → Zinc was the dominant trace metal in foliage and sediment pore waters. → Metal contaminants remain a problem in relation to their wider environmental fate. → A sustainable environment appears to be forming as a result of natural attenuation. - Soil biological quality improves in a woody crop stand eight years after a phytoremediation trial.

  18. Developing woody crops for the enhancement of ecosystem services under changing climates in the north central United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald S. Zalesny; William L. Headlee

    2015-01-01

    Short rotation woody crops belonging to the genera Populus L., Salix L., Pinus L., and Eucalyptus LHer. have provided broad economic and ecological benefits throughout the world, including afforestation and reforestation along urban to rural gradients. Within the genus Populus...

  19. Chemical Characteristics of Six Woody Species for Alley Cropping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mosango, M.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaves of six woody species (Leguminosae for alley cropping have been chemically analysed in order to evaluate their potentiality in the restoration of soil fertility. These species are : Acacia mangium, Cajanus cajan, Flemingia grahamiana, F. macrophylla, Leucaena leucocephala and Sesbania sesban. Nitrogen, carbon, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, active fraction and ash contents were determined as well as C/N and L/N ratios. AH these species appear to be rich in N and C. Fiber contents (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are globally low but variable from one species to another. C/N and L/N ratios are globally low. Among these species, Leucaena leucocephala and Senna spectabilis show the lowest C/N and LIN ratios. Such low values of C/N and L/N are normally found in species with rapid decomposition of organic matter.

  20. Evaluation of the Relative Merits of Herbaceous and Woody Crops for Use in Tunable Thermochemical Processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Joon-Hyun [Ceres, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA (United States); Martinalbo, Ilya [Choren USA, LLC, Houston, TX (United States)

    2011-12-01

    This report summarizes the work and findings of the grant work conducted from January 2009 until September 2011 under the collaboration between Ceres, Inc. and Choren USA, LLC. This DOE-funded project involves a head-to-head comparison of two types of dedicated energy crops in the context of a commercial gasification conversion process. The main goal of the project was to gain a better understanding of the differences in feedstock composition between herbaceous and woody species, and how these differences may impact a commercial gasification process. In this work, switchgrass was employed as a model herbaceous energy crop, and willow as a model short-rotation woody crop. Both crops are species native to the U.S. with significant potential to contribute to U.S. goals for renewable liquid fuel production, as outlined in the DOE Billion Ton Update (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/billion_ton_update.html, 2011). In some areas of the U.S., switching between woody and herbaceous feedstocks or blending of the two may be necessary to keep a large-scale gasifier operating near capacity year round. Based on laboratory tests and process simulations it has been successfully shown that suitable high yielding switchgrass and willow varieties exist that meet the feedstock specifications for large scale entrained flow biomass gasification. This data provides the foundation for better understanding how to use both materials in thermochemical processes. It has been shown that both switchgrass and willow varieties have comparable ranges of higher heating value, BTU content and indistinguishable hydrogen/carbon ratios. Benefits of switchgrass, and other herbaceous feedstocks, include its low moisture content, which reduce energy inputs and costs for drying feedstock. Compared to the typical feedstock currently being used in the Carbo-V® process, switchgrass has a higher ash content, combined with a lower ash melting temperature. Whether or not this may cause inefficiencies in the

  1. Measuring and partitioning soil respiration in sharkey shrink-swell clays under plantation grown short-rotation woody crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson G. Hood; Michael C. Tyree; Dylan N. Dillaway Dillaway; Theodor D. Leininger

    2015-01-01

    The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) offers an ecological niche for short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) production by mating marginal agricultural land with optimal growing conditions. Approximately 1.7 million ha within the LMAV consist of Sharkey shrink-swell clays. They are considered marginal in terms of traditional agricultural productivity due to their...

  2. Soil carbon, after 3 years, under short-rotation woody crops grown under varying nutrient and water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felipe G. Sanchez; Mark Coleman; Charles T. Garten; Robert J. Luxmoore; John A. Stanturf; Carl Trettin; Stan D. Wullschleger

    2007-01-01

    Soil carbon contents were measured on a short-rotation woody crop study located on the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site outside Aiken, SC. This study included fertilization and irrigation treatments on five tree genotypes (sweetgum, loblolly pine, sycamore and two eastern cottonwood clones). Prior to study installation, the previous pine stand was...

  3. Economic impacts of short-rotation woody crops for energy or oriented strand board: a Minnesota case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    William F. Lazarus; Douglas G. Tiffany; Ronald S. Zalesny Jr.; Don E. Riemenschneider

    2011-01-01

    Short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) such as hybrid poplars are becoming increasingly competitive with agriculture on marginal land. The trees can be grown for energy and for traditional uses such as oriented strandboard. Using IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) software, we modeled the impacts of shifting land use from hay and pasture for cow-calf beef operations to...

  4. Potential of pest regulation by insectivorous birds in Mediterranean woody crops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M Rey Benayas

    Full Text Available Regulation of agricultural pests managing their natural enemies represents an alternative to chemical pesticides. We assessed the potential of insectivorous birds as pest regulators in woody crops located in central Spain. A total of 417 nest boxes installed in five field study sites (one vineyard, two fruit orchards, and two olive groves were monitored for use and breeding of insectivorous birds and other species for four consecutive years (2013-2016. At all field sites except the two olive groves, where birds never occupied the nest boxes, predation experiments were conducted with Greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella sentinel caterpillars, and food consumption by birds was estimated. Nesting of insectivorous birds, chiefly Great tit (Parus major, and sparrows (Passer domesticus and P. montanus increased over time, averaging 60% per field site in the vineyard and fruit orchards by the fourth year. Use of nest boxes by sparrows and by Garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus was high at the fruit orchards (70% and the vineyard (30%, respectively. Micro-habitat characteristics (nest box level and meso-habitat characteristics (patch level strongly affected use of nest boxes and bird breeding (i.e. number of laid eggs and produced chicks in different years. Distance to natural or semi-natural vegetation did not consistently affect bird breeding, nor did we see consistent evidence of competition between adjacent breeding birds. Predation rates of sentinel caterpillars were approximately one-third higher near boxes with nesting birds (31.51 ± 43.13% than at paired distant areas without nest boxes (22.45% ± 38.58%. Food consumption by insectivorous birds per ha and breeding season were conservatively estimated to range from 0.02 kg in one fruit orchard to 0.15 kg in the vineyard. We conclude that installation of nest boxes in Mediterranean woody crops enhances populations of insectivorous birds that regulate pests, but that the effects are moderate and

  5. Sustainable Biofuels from Forests: Woody Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin H. White

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The use of woody biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts involves multiple sources of material that together create year round supplies. The main sources of woody biomass include residues from wood manufacturing industries, low value trees including logging slash in forests that are currently underutilized and dedicated short-rotation woody crops. Conceptually a ton of woody biomass feedstocks can replace a barrel of oil as the wood is processed (refined through a biorefinery. As oil is refined only part of the barrel is used for liquid fuel, e.g., gasoline, while much of the carbon in oil is refined into higher value chemical products-carbon in woody biomass can be refined into the same value-added products.

  6. Water Quality Changes in a Short-Rotation Woody Crop Riparian Buffer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, D.; Clausen, J.; Kuzovkina, J.

    2016-12-01

    Converting riparian buffers in agricultural areas from annual row crops to short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) grown for biofuel can provide both water quality benefits and a financial incentive for buffer adoption among agricultural producers. A randomized complete block design was used to determine water quality changes resulting from converting plots previously cultivated in corn to SRWC willow (Salix. spp) adjacent to a stream in Storrs, CT. Both overland flow and ground water samples were analyzed for total nitrogen (TN), nitrate + nitrite (NO2+NO3-N), and total phosphorus (TP). Overland flow was also analyzed for suspended solids concentration (SSC). Lower (p = 0.05) concentrations of TN (56%) and TP (61%) were observed in post-coppice surface runoff from willow plots than from corn plots. Shallow ground water concentrations at the edge of willow plots were lower in TN (56%) and NO3+NO2-N (64%), but 35% higher in TP, than at the edge of corn plots. SSC was also lower (72%) in overland flow associated with willow compared to corn. The treatment had no effect on discharge or mass export. These results suggest conversion from corn to a SRWC in a riparian area can provide water quality benefits similar to those observed in restored and established buffers.

  7. Aluminium exclusion and aluminium tolerance in woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivano eBrunner

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The aluminium (Al cation Al3+ is highly rhizotoxic and is a major stress factor to plants on acid soils, which cover large areas of tropical and boreal regions. Many woody plant species are native to acid soils and are well adapted to high Al3+ conditions. In tropical regions, both woody Al accumulator and non-Al accumulator plants occur, whereas in boreal regions woody plants are non-Al accumulators. The mechanisms of these adaptations can be divided into those that facilitate the exclusion of Al3+ from root cells (exclusion mechanisms and those that enable plants to tolerate Al3+ once it has entered the root and shoot symplast (internal tolerance mechanisms. The biochemical and molecular basis of these mechanisms have been intensively studied in several crop plants and the model plant Arabidopsis. In this review, we examine the current understanding of Al3+ exclusion and tolerance mechanisms from woody plants. In addition, we discuss the ecology of woody non-Al accumulator and Al accumulator plants, and present examples of Al3+ adaptations in woody plant populations. This paper complements previous reviews focusing on crop plants and provides insights into evolutionary processes operating in plant communities that are widespread on acid soils.

  8. Aluminum exclusion and aluminum tolerance in woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunner, Ivano; Sperisen, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    The aluminum (Al) cation Al(3) (+) is highly rhizotoxic and is a major stress factor to plants on acid soils, which cover large areas of tropical and boreal regions. Many woody plant species are native to acid soils and are well adapted to high Al(3) (+) conditions. In tropical regions, both woody Al accumulator and non-Al accumulator plants occur, whereas in boreal regions woody plants are non-Al accumulators. The mechanisms of these adaptations can be divided into those that facilitate the exclusion of Al(3) (+) from root cells (exclusion mechanisms) and those that enable plants to tolerate Al(3) (+) once it has entered the root and shoot symplast (internal tolerance mechanisms). The biochemical and molecular basis of these mechanisms have been intensively studied in several crop plants and the model plant Arabidopsis. In this review, we examine the current understanding of Al(3) (+) exclusion and tolerance mechanisms from woody plants. In addition, we discuss the ecology of woody non-Al accumulator and Al accumulator plants, and present examples of Al(3) (+) adaptations in woody plant populations. This paper complements previous reviews focusing on crop plants and provides insights into evolutionary processes operating in plant communities that are widespread on acid soils.

  9. Eucalyptus and Populus short rotation woody crops for phosphate mined lands in Florida USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rockwood, D L; Carter, D R; Langholtz, M H [The School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611 0410 (United States); Stricker, J A [Polk County Extension Service, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2006-08-15

    Our short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) research in central and southern Florida is (1) developing superior Eucalyptus grandis (EG), E. amplifolia (EA), and cottonwood (Populus deltoides, PD) genotypes, (2) determining appropriate management practices for and associated productivities of these genotypes, and (3) assessing their economics and markets. Reclaimed clay settling areas (CSA) and overburden sites in phosphate mined areas in central Florida are a potential land base of over 80,000ha for SRWC production. On CSAs, PD grows well in the absence of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) but is not as productive as the non-invasive EG and EA. SRWC establishment on CSAs requires strict implementation of the following cultural practices: thorough site preparation through herbiciding/disking and bedding, superior trees, watering/packing seedlings, fertilization with ammonium nitrate at planting and annually thereafter as feasible, high planting density possibly including double row planting, and winter harvesting so that coppice regeneration suppresses weeds. PD cultural requirements, that may require post-planting weed control to suppress herbaceous competition, exceed those of the eucalypts. EG SRWCs on CSAs are at risk of blowdown 3-4 years after planting or coppicing; younger PD, EG, and EA SRWCs appear much less susceptible to wind damage. Genetic improvement must continue if EG, EA, and PD are to increase in commercial feasibility. SRWC cost competitiveness will depend on establishment success, yield improvements, harvesting costs, and identifying/using incentives. Strong collaboration among public and private partners is necessary for commercializing SRWCs in Florida. (author)

  10. Short rotation woody biomass production as option for the restoration of post-mining areas in lower Lusatia, Germany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bohm, C.; Quinkenstein, A.; Freese, D. [Brandenburg Univ. of Technology, Cottbus (Germany). Soil Protection and Recultivation; Huttl, R.R. [Brandenburg Univ. of Technology, Cottbus (Germany). Soil Protection and Recultivation; GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    Reclaimed mine sites in the Lusatian lignite-mining district in Germany are characterized by low annual precipitation and marginal soils. As such, crop yield is typically low and conventional land use systems fail in terms of reliable and efficient crop production. The production of woody biomass for bioenergy may be a promising alternative to improve soil fertility and also to enhance the economic value of these post-mining areas. Previous studies have shown that black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) may be a suitable tree species for this purpose. This paper evaluated the ecological and economic benefits of producing woody biomass in short rotation coppices (SRC) and alley cropping systems (ACS) with black locust. The results showed that compared to conventional agriculture, such land use is not very profitable due to high establishment and harvesting costs and the comparatively low prices for wood energy. However, because of the improved microclimate, the crop yield in ACS is higher than in conventional agriculture. The cultivation of black locust resulted in a higher humus accumulation and in a lower harvest-related nutrient export than the cultivation of alfalfa as a typical recultivation crop in this region. It was concluded SRC with black locust is more beneficial than conventional agriculture in terms of improving soil fertility in the degraded post-mining areas of Lower Lusatia.

  11. Assessing the Influence of Summer Organic Fertilization Combined with Nitrogen Inhibitor on a Short Rotation Woody Crop in Mediterranean Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Maienza

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The European Union Directive 91/676/EEC, known as Nitrates Directive, has dictated basic agronomic principles regarding the use of animal manure source as well as livestock and waste waters from small food companies. The use of nitrification inhibitors together with animal effluents as organic fertilizers could be beneficial for nutrient recycling, plant productivity, and greenhouse gas emission and could offer economic advantages as alternative to conventional fertilizers especially in the Mediterranean region. The aim of the present study was to investigate differences in plant productivity between bovine effluent treatments with (or without addition of a nitrification inhibitor (3,4 DMPP in a short rotation woody crop system. Results of the field experiment carried out in a Mediterranean dry environment indicated that the proposed strategy could improve tree growth with indirect, beneficial effects for agroforestry systems.

  12. Short Rotation Crops in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L L

    1998-06-04

    The report is based primarily on the results of survey questions sent to approximately 60 woody and 20 herbaceous crop researchers in the United States and on information from the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program. Responses were received from 13 individuals involved in woody crops research or industrial commercialization (with 5 of the responses coming from industry). Responses were received from 11 individuals involved in herbaceous crop research. Opinions on market incentives, technical and non-technical barriers, and highest priority research and development areas are summarized in the text. Details on research activities of the survey responders are provided as appendices to the paper. Woody crops grown as single-stem systems (primarily Populus and Eucalyptus species) are perceived to have strong pulp fiber and oriented strand board markets, and the survey responders anticipated that energy will comprise 25% or less of the utilization of single-stem short-rotation woody crops between now and 2010. The only exception was a response from California where a substantial biomass energy market does currently exist. Willows (Salix species) are only being developed for energy and only in one part of the United States at present. Responses from herbaceous crop researchers suggested frustration that markets (including biomass energy markets) do not currently exist for the crop, and it was the perception of many that federal incentives will be needed to create such markets. In all crops, responses indicate that a wide variety of research and development activities are needed to enhance the yields and profitability of the crops. Ongoing research activities funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program are described in an appendix to the paper.

  13. Financial and energy analyses of woody biomass plantations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strauss, C.H.

    1991-01-01

    This paper provides an economic analysis of a short rotation woody crop (SRWC) plantation system established the financial and energy costs of woody biomass and related net values for the total system. A production model for commercial-sized Populus plantations was developed from a series of research projects sponsored by the U.S,. Department of Energy's Short Rotation Woody Crops Program. The design was based on hybrid poplar planted on good quality agricultural sites at a density of 2100 cutting ha -1 . Growth was forecast at 16 Mg(OD) ha -1 yr -1 on a six-year rotation cycle. All inputs associated with plantation establishment, annual operations, and land use were identified on a financial and energy cost basis (Strauss et al. 1989). Net values for the system projected a minimum financial profit and a major net energy gain. Financial profit was limited by the high market value of energy inputs as compared to the low market value of the energy output. The net energy gain was attributed to the solar energy captured through photosynthesis. Principal input costs to the overall system, on both a financial and energy basis, were land rent and the harvesting/transportation requirements

  14. Changes in bird community composition in response to growth changes in short-rotation woody crop planting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Hanowski, J.; Schiller, A.; Hoffman, W.; Christian, D.; Lindberg, J.

    1997-01-01

    Hybrid poplar established as intensively managed short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) on former agricultural lands can provide habitat for wildlife. Studies of bird use of SRWC for nesting and during fall migration have shown that the numbers and kinds of breeding birds using mature plantings of hybrid poplar are similar to natural forested lands. In Minnesota, the number of species of breeding birds using habitat provided by clonal-trial plantings and young larger-scale plantings (12-64 ha) of hybrid poplar were initially most similar to those using grasslands and row-crops. As the plantings approached canopy closure, successional species became predominant. In the Pacific Northwest, breeding bird composition and density were very similar for mature plantings and forested areas; however, fall migrants were found primarily in forested areas. In the Southeast, preliminary comparisons of breeding bird use of plantings of sweetgum and sycamore with naturally regenerating forests of different ages and sizes and vegetation structure are showing no size effect on use. As with hybrid poplar, species use of the more mature plantings of sweetgum and sycamore was most similar to that of natural forests. (author)

  15. Short rotation Wood Crops Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.

    1990-08-01

    This report synthesizes the technical progress of research projects in the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program for the year ending September 30, 1989. The primary goal of this research program, sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Biofuels and Municipal Waste Technology Division, is the development of a viable technology for producing renewable feedstocks for conversion to biofuels. One of the more significant accomplishments was the documentation that short-rotation woody crops total delivered costs could be $40/Mg or less under optimistic but attainable conditions. By taking advantage of federal subsidies such as those offered under the Conservation Reserve Program, wood energy feedstock costs could be lower. Genetic improvement studies are broadening species performance within geographic regions and under less-than-optimum site conditions. Advances in physiological research are identifying key characteristics of species productivity and response to nutrient applications. Recent developments utilizing biotechnology have achieved success in cell and tissue culture, somaclonal variation, and gene-insertion studies. Productivity gains have been realized with advanced cultural studies of spacing, coppice, and mixed-species trials. 8 figs., 20 tabs.

  16. In Situ Groundwater Denitrification in the Riparian Zone of a Short-Rotation Woody Crop Experimental Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffers, J. B.; Jackson, C. R.; Rau, B.; Pringle, C. M.; Matteson, C.

    2017-12-01

    The southeastern United States has potential to become a major producer of short rotation woody crops (SRWC) for the production of biofuels, but this will require converting to more intensive forest management practices that will increase nitrate (NO3-) loading and alter nitrogen cycling in nearby freshwater ecosystems. Water quality monitoring in an experimental short-rotation woody crop watershed in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina has shown increased concentrations of NO3- in groundwater but no evidence of increased NO3- in riparian groundwater or surface waters. Forested riparian areas established as streamside management zones (SMZ) are known to act as buffers to surface water bodies by mitigating nutrients. The objectives of this study were to quantify denitrification by measuring dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations along groundwater flow paths and analyze relationships between denitrification estimates, nutrients, and water chemistry parameters. A network of piezometers has been established in the Fourmile Experimental Watershed at the Department of Energy - Savannah River Site. Water samples were collected monthly and were analyzed for concentrations of nutrients (temperature, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, dissolved organic carbon) and dissolved gases (N2, Ar, N2O). Preliminary data showed greater dissolved N2O concentrations than dissolved N2 concentrations in groundwater. The ratios of N2O to combined end products of denitrification (N2O / N2O+N2) ranged from 0.33 to 0.99. Mean N2O+N2 concentrations were greater in groundwater samples in the SRWC plot and along the SMZ boundary than along the ephemeral stream within the riparian zone. Correlations between water chemistry parameters and N2 concentrations are indicative of known biogeochemical driving factors of denitrification. Continued monthly sampling will be coupled with analysis of nutrient concentrations (NO3-, NH4+, TN) to help determine transport and processing

  17. An Improved Estimation of Regional Fractional Woody/Herbaceous Cover Using Combined Satellite Data and High-Quality Training Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Mapping vegetation cover is critical for understanding and monitoring ecosystem functions in semi-arid biomes. As existing estimates tend to underestimate the woody cover in areas with dry deciduous shrubland and woodland, we present an approach to improve the regional estimation of woody and herbaceous fractional cover in the East Asia steppe. This developed approach uses Random Forest models by combining multiple remote sensing data—training samples derived from high-resolution image in a tailored spatial sampling and model inputs composed of specific metrics from MODIS sensor and ancillary variables including topographic, bioclimatic, and land surface information. We emphasize that effective spatial sampling, high-quality classification, and adequate geospatial information are important prerequisites of establishing appropriate model inputs and achieving high-quality training samples. This study suggests that the optimal models improve estimation accuracy (NMSE 0.47 for woody and 0.64 for herbaceous plants and show a consistent agreement with field observations. Compared with existing woody estimate product, the proposed woody cover estimation can delineate regions with subshrubs and shrubs, showing an improved capability of capturing spatialized detail of vegetation signals. This approach can be applicable over sizable semi-arid areas such as temperate steppes, savannas, and prairies.

  18. Thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry study of woody residues and an herbaceous biomass crop using PCA techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, C.J.; Velo, E.; Puigjaner, L. [Department of Chemical Engineering, ETSEIB, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Avinguda Diagonal 647, G2, E-08028 Barcelona (Spain); Meszaros, E.; Jakab, E. [Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, Budapest 1525 (Hungary)

    2007-10-15

    The devolatilization behaviour of pine and beech wood from carpentry residuals and an herbaceous product from an energy plantation (artichoke thistle) was investigated by thermogravimetry/mass spectrometry (TG/MS). The effect of three pre-treatments, hot-water washing, ethanol extraction and their combination, was also studied. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to help in the evaluation of the large data set of results. The characteristics of the thermal decomposition of the herbaceous crop are considerably different from that of the woody biomass samples. The evolution profiles of some characteristic pyrolysis products revealed that the thermal behaviour of wood and thistle is still considerably different after the elimination of some of the inorganic ions and extractive compounds, although the macromolecular components of the samples decompose at similar temperatures. With the help of the PCA calculations, the effect of the different pre-treatments on the production of the main pyrolysis products was evidenced. (author)

  19. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered.

  20. Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the U.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Vance

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Short rotation woody crops (SRWC, fast growing tree species that are harvested on short, repeated intervals, can augment traditional fiber sources. These crops have economic and environmental benefits stemming from their capability of supplying fiber on a reduced land base in close proximity to users and when sensitive sites cannot be accessed. Eucalyptus and Populus appear to be genera with the greatest potential to provide supplemental fiber in the U.S. Optimal productivity can be achieved through practices that overcome site limitations and by choosing the most appropriate sites, species, and clones. Some Eucalyptus species are potentially invasive, yet field studies across multiple continents suggest they are slower to disperse than predicted by risk assessments. Some studies have found lower plant and animal diversity in SRWC systems compared to mature, native forests, but greater than some alterative land uses and strongly influenced by stand management, land use history, and landscape context. Eucalyptus established in place of grasslands, arable lands, and, in some cases, native forests can reduce streamflow and lower water tables due to higher interception and transpiration rates but results vary widely, are scale dependent, and are most evident in drier regions.

  1. 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 photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation.

  2. 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 photosynthesis (source) as a key driver for crop growth, while others derive crop growth from the balance between source- and sink-limitations. Modeling leaf photosynthesis has progressed from empirical modeling via light response curves to a more mechanistic basis, having clearer links to the underlying biochemical processes of photosynthesis. Cross-scale modeling that connects models at the biochemical and crop levels and utilizes developments in upscaling leaf-level models to canopy models has the potential to bridge the gap between photosynthetic manipulation at the biochemical level and its consequences on crop productivity. Here we review approaches to this emerging cross-scale modeling framework and reinforce the need for connections across levels of modeling. Further, we propose strategies for connecting biochemical models of photosynthesis into the cross-scale modeling framework to support crop improvement through photosynthetic manipulation. PMID:27790232

  3. 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

  4. Genetically modified (GM) crops: milestones and new advances in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2016-09-01

    New advances in crop genetic engineering can significantly pace up the development of genetically improved varieties with enhanced yield, nutrition and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetically modified (GM) crops can act as powerful complement to the crops produced by laborious and time consuming conventional breeding methods to meet the worldwide demand for quality foods. GM crops can help fight malnutrition due to enhanced yield, nutritional quality and increased resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. However, several biosafety issues and public concerns are associated with cultivation of GM crops developed by transgenesis, i.e., introduction of genes from distantly related organism. To meet these concerns, researchers have developed alternative concepts of cisgenesis and intragenesis which involve transformation of plants with genetic material derived from the species itself or from closely related species capable of sexual hybridization, respectively. Recombinase technology aimed at site-specific integration of transgene can help to overcome limitations of traditional genetic engineering methods based on random integration of multiple copy of transgene into plant genome leading to gene silencing and unpredictable expression pattern. Besides, recently developed technology of genome editing using engineered nucleases, permit the modification or mutation of genes of interest without involving foreign DNA, and as a result, plants developed with this technology might be considered as non-transgenic genetically altered plants. This would open the doors for the development and commercialization of transgenic plants with superior phenotypes even in countries where GM crops are poorly accepted. This review is an attempt to summarize various past achievements of GM technology in crop improvement, recent progress and new advances in the field to develop improved varieties aimed for better consumer acceptance.

  5. Combining woody biomass for combustion with green waste composting: Effect of removal of woody biomass on compost quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandecasteele, Bart; Boogaerts, Christophe; Vandaele, Elke

    2016-12-01

    The question was tackled on how the green waste compost industry can optimally apply the available biomass resources for producing both bioenergy by combustion of the woody fraction, and high quality soil improvers as renewable sources of carbon and nutrients. Compost trials with removal of woody biomass before or after composting were run at 9 compost facilities during 3 seasons to include seasonal variability of feedstock. The project focused on the changes in feedstock and the effect on the end product characteristics (both compost and recovered woody biomass) of this woody biomass removal. The season of collection during the year clearly affected the biochemical and chemical characteristics of feedstock, woody biomass and compost. On one hand the effect of removal of the woody fraction before composting did not significantly affect compost quality when compared to the scenario where the woody biomass was sieved from the compost at the end of the composting process. On the other hand, quality of the woody biomass was not strongly affected by extraction before or after composting. The holocellulose:lignin ratio was used in this study as an indicator for (a) the decomposition potential of the feedstock mixture and (b) to assess the stability of the composts at the end of the process. Higher microbial activity in green waste composts (indicated by higher oxygen consumption) and thus a lower compost stability resulted in higher N immobilization in the compost. Removal of woody biomass from the green waste before composting did not negatively affect the compost quality when more intensive composting was applied. The effect of removal of the woody fraction on the characteristics of the green waste feedstock and the extracted woody biomass is depending on the season of collection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Woody debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donna B. Scheungrab; Carl C. Trettin; Russ Lea; Martin F. Jurgensen

    2000-01-01

    Woody debris can be defined as any dead, woody plant material, including logs, branches, standing dead trees, and root wads. Woody debris is an important part of forest and stream ecosystems because it has a role in carbon budgets and nutrient cycling, is a source of energy for aquatic ecosystems, provides habitat for terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and contributes...

  7. Radiation technology for the development of improved crop varieties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Souza, Stanislaus 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. The desirable traits which have been bred through induced mutations include higher yield, grain quality, early maturity, disease and pest resistance, improved plant type and abiotic stress resistance

  8. Chemical mutagenesis for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    Focusses on methodological aspects for the efficient induction of mutations in crop plants by chemomutagens. Mutagen treatment of barley seeds with ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS) is documented in detail to exemplify procedural phases. Reference is made to safe handling and the prevention of biohazards. Induced biological and genetic effects at various plant generations are documented and the use of mutants for crop improvement is discussed

  9. 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.

  10. Woody structure facilitates invasion of woody plants by providing perches for birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Chelse M; Huynh, Andrew; Pennings, Steven C

    2017-10-01

    Woody encroachment threatens prairie ecosystems globally, and thus understanding the mechanisms that facilitate woody encroachment is of critical importance. Coastal tallgrass prairies along the Gulf Coast of the US are currently threatened by the spread of several species of woody plants. We studied a coastal tallgrass prairie in Texas, USA, to determine if existing woody structure increased the supply of seeds from woody plants via dispersal by birds. Specifically, we determined if (i) more seedlings of an invasive tree ( Tridacia sebifera ) are present surrounding a native woody plant ( Myrica cerifera ); (ii) wooden perches increase the quantity of seeds dispersed to a grassland; and (iii) perches alter the composition of the seed rain seasonally in prairie habitats with differing amounts of native and invasive woody vegetation, both underneath and away from artificial wooden perches. More T. sebifera seedlings were found within M. cerifera patches than in graminoid-dominated areas. Although perches did not affect the total number of seeds, perches changed the composition of seed rain to be less dominated by grasses and forbs. Specifically, 20-30 times as many seeds of two invasive species of woody plants were found underneath perches independent of background vegetation, especially during months when seed rain was highest. These results suggest that existing woody structure in a grassland can promote further woody encroachment by enhancing seed dispersal by birds. This finding argues for management to reduce woody plant abundance before exotic plants set seeds and argues against the use of artificial perches as a restoration technique in grasslands threatened by woody species.

  11. RNA interference: concept to reality in crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurabh, Satyajit; Vidyarthi, Ambarish S; Prasad, Dinesh

    2014-03-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) is involved in sequence-specific gene regulation driven by the introduction of dsRNA resulting in inhibition of translation or transcriptional repression. Since the discovery of RNAi and its regulatory potentials, it has become evident that RNAi has immense potential in opening a new vista for crop improvement. RNAi technology is precise, efficient, stable and better than antisense technology. It has been employed successfully to alter the gene expression in plants for better quality traits. The impact of RNAi to improve the crop plants has proved to be a novel approach in combating the biotic and abiotic stresses and the nutritional improvement in terms of bio-fortification and bio-elimination. It has been employed successfully to bring about modifications of several desired traits in different plants. These modifications include nutritional improvements, reduced content of food allergens and toxic compounds, enhanced defence against biotic and abiotic stresses, alteration in morphology, crafting male sterility, enhanced secondary metabolite synthesis and seedless plant varieties. However, crop plants developed by RNAi strategy may create biosafety risks. So, there is a need for risk assessment of GM crops in order to make RNAi a better tool to develop crops with biosafety measures. This article is an attempt to review the RNAi, its biochemistry, and the achievements attributed to the application of RNAi in crop improvement.

  12. Growth and foliar nitrogen concentrations of interplanted native woody legumes and pecan

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.W. Van Sambeek; Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; Kenneth L. Hunt

    2008-01-01

    The interplanting and underplanting of nodulated nitrogen-fixing plants in tree plantings can increase early growth and foliage nitrogen content of hardwoods, especially black walnut and pecan. Recent studies have demonstrated that some non-nodulated woody legumes may be capable of fixing significant levels of atmospheric nitrogen. The following nine nurse crop...

  13. 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.

  14. Expected international demand for woody and herbaceous feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lamers, Patrick [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Jacobson, Jacob [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Mohammad, Roni [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Wright, Christopher [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The development of a U.S. bioenergy market and ultimately ‘bioeconomy’ has primarily been investigated with a national focus. Limited attention has been given to the potential impacts of international market developments. The goal of this project is to advance the current State of Technology of a single biorefinery to the global level providing quantitative estimates on how international markets may influence the domestic feedstock supply costs. The scope of the project is limited to feedstock that is currently available and new crops being developed to be used in a future U.S. bioeconomy including herbaceous residues (e.g., corn stover), woody biomass (e.g., pulpwood), and energy crops (e.g., switchgrass). The timeframe is set to the periods of 2022, 2030, and 2040 to align with current policy targets (e.g., the RFS2) and future updates of the Billion Ton data. This particular milestone delivers demand volumes for generic woody and herbaceous feedstocks for the main (net) importing regions along the above timeframes. The regional focus of the study is the European Union (EU), currently the largest demand region for U.S. pellets made from pulpwood and forest residues. The pellets are predominantly used in large-scale power plants (>5MWel) in the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands (NL), Belgium (BE), and Denmark (DK).

  15. Proteomics: A Biotechnology Tool for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moustafa eEldakak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A sharp decline in the availability of arable land and sufficient supply of irrigation water along with a continuous steep increase in food demands have exerted a pressure on farmers to produce more with fewer resources. A viable solution to release this pressure is to speed up the plant breeding process by employing biotechnology in breeding programs. The majority of biotechnological applications rely on information generated from various -omic technologies. The latest outstanding improvements in proteomic platforms and many other but related advances in plant biotechnology techniques offer various new ways to encourage the usage of these technologies by plant scientists for crop improvement programs. A combinatorial approach of accelerated gene discovery through genomics, proteomics, and other associated -omic branches of biotechnology, as an applied approach, is proving to be an effective way to speed up the crop improvement programs worldwide. In the near future, swift improvements in -omic databases are becoming critical and demand immediate attention for the effective utilization of these techniques to produce next-generation crops for the progressive farmers. Here, we have reviewed the recent advances in proteomics, as tools of biotechnology, which are offering great promise and leading the path towards crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

  16. Rural Women's Attitude Towards Adoption Of Improved Crop ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rural Women's Attitude Towards Adoption Of Improved Crop Production Practices In Aguata Agricultural Zone, Anambra State, Nigeria. ... Global Approaches to Extension Practice: A Journal of Agricultural Extension ... Rural women agreed that improved crops normally lose their taste after harvest (mean = 3.02).

  17. Radiation and crop improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1960-09-15

    The present state of the research was reviewed and its results analyzed at an international scientific Symposium on the Effects of Ionizing Radiations on Seeds and their Significance for Crop Improvement held at Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany, in 1960. The experts began a detailed examination of certain special aspects of the radiobiology of seeds. Some of the topics discussed related to the processes initiated in seeds as a result of irradiation. The influence of environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity and the presence or absence of oxygen, was also evaluated. Variations in the sensitivity to radiation were taken into consideration and ways of modifying the sensitivity were examined. Two sessions were devoted to a study of radiation- and chemically-induced chromosome breakage and reunion. The nature and mechanism of chromosome breakage and reunion area subject of basic importance in all radiobiological studies and naturally constituted one of the main topics of discussion at the Karlsruhe symposium. The symposium discussed the relevance of these basic scientific questions to crop improvement. Whether irradiation itself, without producing any hereditary changes, can stimulate crop yields is a matter of considerable interest. It has been found that in some cases the effect is stimulating, while in others it is inhibitive. A number of experiments were described and an attempt was made to deduce certain principles from the results obtained

  18. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

    The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was often opaque to consumers. The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges and opportunities. The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and "bio-synthetics"; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products. From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is undoubtedly one of the areas of greatest interest. From a basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being inappropriate consumption in the developed world and under-nourishment in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in affluent regions are in sharp contrast to chronic malnutrition in many LDCs. Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play. Developing plants with improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory and indeed perception hurdles inherent in perceived and real challenges of complex traits modifications. Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development to produce plants with the appropriate quality traits for the different regions and needs. Crops with improved traits in the pipeline, the evolving technologies and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead are covered. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. 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.

  20. From gene manipulation to forest establishment: shoot cultures of woody plants can be a central tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCown, B.H.

    1985-05-01

    Establishing germplasm of woody plants in microculture as shoot cultures has proved to be an effective method of overcoming many of the obstacles in working with these crops. Shoot cultures eliminate the changes associated with seasonal growth cycles and phase change and put large plants into a more manageable form. Well-established shoot cultures are central to successful clonal propagation systems for forest trees as well as to genetic improvement based on the use of cellular techniques such as protoplast manipulation. The physiological basis as to why tissues from shoot cultures are so readily manipulated is not well understood.

  1. Winter Crop Mapping for Improving Crop Production Estimates in Argentina Using Moderation Resolution Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humber, M. L.; Copati, E.; Sanchez, A.; Sahajpal, R.; Puricelli, E.; Becker-Reshef, I.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate crop production data is fundamental for reducing uncertainly and volatility in the domestic and international agricultural markets. The Agricultural Estimates Department of the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has worked since 2000 on the estimation of different crop production data. With this information, the Grain Exchange helps different actors of the agricultural chain, such as producers, traders, seed companies, market analyst, policy makers, into their day to day decision making. Since 2015/16 season, the Grain Exchange has worked on the development of a new earth observations-based method to identify winter crop planted area at a regional scale with the aim of improving crop production estimates. The objective of this new methodology is to create a reliable winter crop mask at moderate spatial resolution using Landsat-8 imagery by exploiting bi-temporal differences in the phenological stages of winter crops as compared to other landcover types. In collaboration with the University of Maryland, the map has been validated by photointerpretation of a stratified statistically random sample of independent ground truth data in the four largest producing provinces of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Pampa, and Santa Fe. In situ measurements were also used to further investigate conditions in the Buenos Aires province. Preliminary results indicate that while there are some avenues for improvement, overall the classification accuracy of the cropland and non-cropland classes are sufficient to improve downstream production estimates. Continuing research will focus on improving the methodology for winter crop mapping exercises on a yearly basis as well as improving the sampling methodology to optimize collection of validation data in the future.

  2. Compositions comprising lignosulfonates for crop protection and crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevens, L.H.; Kok, C.J.; Krieken, van der W.M.

    2009-01-01

    International patent application number: WO2004067699http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/search/en/WO2004067699 (EN)The invention relates to a composition for protecting an agricultural crop against external threats, such as weeds, pathogens, abiotic and biotic stresses and/or for improving the quality

  3. 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...

  4. A database for coconut crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, Velamoor; Manimekalai, Ramaswamy; Devakumar, Krishnamurthy; Rajesh; Karun, Anitha; Niral, Vittal; Gopal, Murali; Aziz, Shamina; Gunasekaran, Marimuthu; Kumar, Mundappurathe Ramesh; Chandrasekar, Arumugam

    2005-12-08

    Coconut crop improvement requires a number of biotechnology and bioinformatics tools. A database containing information on CG (coconut germplasm), CCI (coconut cultivar identification), CD (coconut disease), MIFSPC (microbial information systems in plantation crops) and VO (vegetable oils) is described. The database was developed using MySQL and PostgreSQL running in Linux operating system. The database interface is developed in PHP, HTML and JAVA. http://www.bioinfcpcri.org.

  5. Improved Satellite-based Crop Yield Mapping by Spatially Explicit Parameterization of Crop Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Z.; Azzari, G.; Lobell, D. B.

    2016-12-01

    Field-scale mapping of crop yields with satellite data often relies on the use of crop simulation models. However, these approaches can be hampered by inaccuracies in the simulation of crop phenology. Here we present and test an approach to use dense time series of Landsat 7 and 8 acquisitions data to calibrate various parameters related to crop phenology simulation, such as leaf number and leaf appearance rates. These parameters are then mapped across the Midwestern United States for maize and soybean, and for two different simulation models. We then implement our recently developed Scalable satellite-based Crop Yield Mapper (SCYM) with simulations reflecting the improved phenology parameterizations, and compare to prior estimates based on default phenology routines. Our preliminary results show that the proposed method can effectively alleviate the underestimation of early-season LAI by the default Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM), and that spatially explicit parameterization for the phenology model substantially improves the SCYM performance in capturing the spatiotemporal variation in maize and soybean yield. The scheme presented in our study thus preserves the scalability of SCYM, while significantly reducing its uncertainty.

  6. Genomics of crop wild relatives: expanding the gene pool for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brozynska, Marta; Furtado, Agnelo; Henry, Robert J

    2016-04-01

    Plant breeders require access to new genetic diversity to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food that can be produced in a variable or changing climate and to deliver the high-quality food with nutritional and health benefits demanded by consumers. The close relatives of domesticated plants, crop wild relatives (CWRs), represent a practical gene pool for use by plant breeders. Genomics of CWR generates data that support the use of CWR to expand the genetic diversity of crop plants. Advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling the efficient sequencing of CWR and their increased use in crop improvement. As the sequencing of genomes of major crop species is completed, attention has shifted to analysis of the wider gene pool of major crops including CWR. A combination of de novo sequencing and resequencing is required to efficiently explore useful genetic variation in CWR. Analysis of the nuclear genome, transcriptome and maternal (chloroplast and mitochondrial) genome of CWR is facilitating their use in crop improvement. Genome analysis results in discovery of useful alleles in CWR and identification of regions of the genome in which diversity has been lost in domestication bottlenecks. Targeting of high priority CWR for sequencing will maximize the contribution of genome sequencing of CWR. Coordination of global efforts to apply genomics has the potential to accelerate access to and conservation of the biodiversity essential to the sustainability of agriculture and food production. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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

  8. Relevance of sexual polyploidization for crop improvement - A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramanna, M.S.; Jacobsen, E.

    2003-01-01

    Colchicine induced polyploids have not directly contributed for crop improvement in the past. On the other hand, the so-called natural polyploids, derived from the functioning of numerically unreduced (2n) gametes have been shown to be more relevant for crop improvement in many cases. Different

  9. The potential for short-rotation woody crops to reduce US CO2 emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graham, R.L.; Wright, L.L.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-01-01

    Short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) could potentially displace fossil fuels and thus mitigate CO 2 buildup in the atmosphere. To determine how much fossil fuel SRWC might displace in the United States and what the associated fossil carbon savings might be, a series of assumptions must be made. These assumptions concern the net SRWC biomass yields per hectare (after losses); the amount of suitable land dedicated to SRWC production; wood conversion efficiencies to electricity or liquid fuels; the energy substitution properties of various fuels; and the amount of fossil fuel used in growing, harvesting, transporting, and converting SRWC biomass. Assuming the current climate, present production, and conversion technologies and considering a conservative estimate of the US land base available for SRWC (14 x 10 6 ha), it is calculated that SRWC energy could displace 33.2 to 73.1 x 10 6 Mg of fossil carbon releases, 3-6% of the current annual US emissions. The carbon mitigation potential per unit of land is larger with the substitution of SRWC for coal-based electricity production than for the substitution of SRWC-derived ethanol for gasoline. Assuming current climate, predicted conversion technology advancements, an optimistic estimate of the US land base available for SRWC (28 x 10 6 ha), and an optimistic average estimate of net SRWC yields (22.4 dry Mg/ha), it is calculate that SRWC energy could displace 148 to 242 x 10 6 Mg of annual fossil fuel carbon releases. Under this scenario, the carbon migration potential of SRWC-based electricity production would be equivalent to about 4.4% of current global fossil fuel emissions and 20% of current US fossil fuel emissions. 21 refs., 5 tabs

  10. 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

  11. RNA interference: a promising technique for the improvement of traditional crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoch, Rajan; Thakur, Neelam

    2013-03-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a homology-dependent gene-silencing technology that involves double-stranded RNA directed against a target gene. This technique has emerged as powerful tool in understanding the functions of a number of genes in recent years. For the improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of antinutrients, the conventional breeding methods were not completely successful in achieving the tissue-specific regulation of some genes. RNAi has shown successful results in a number of plant species for nutritional improvement, change in morphology and alteration in metabolite synthesis. This technology has been applied mostly in genetic engineering of important crop plants, and till date there are no reports of its application for the improvement of traditional/underutilized crops. In this study, we discuss current knowledge of RNAi function and concept and strategies for the improvement of traditional crops. Practical application. Although RNAi has been extensively used for the improvement of popular crops, no attention has been given for the use of this technology for the improvement of underutilized crops. This study describes the importance of use of this technology for the improvement of underutilized crops.

  12. Woody biomass phytoremediation of contaminated brownfield land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    French, Christopher J. [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Dickinson, Nicholas M. [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom)]. E-mail: n.m.dickinson@livjm.ac.uk; Putwain, Philip D. [Ecological Restoration Consultants (ERC), Ness Botanic Gardens, University of Liverpool, Ness, Cheshire CH64 (United Kingdom)

    2006-06-15

    Economic and environmental regeneration of post-industrial landscapes frequently involves some element of re-afforestation or tree planting. We report field trials that evaluate whether woody biomass production is compatible with managing residual trace element contamination in brownfield soils. Large-scale mapping of contamination showed a heterogenous dispersion of metals and arsenic, and highly localised within-site hotspots. Yields of Salix, Populus and Alnus were economically viable, showing that short-rotation coppice has a potentially valuable role in community forestry. Mass balance modelling demonstrated that phytoextraction potentially could reduce contamination hotspots of more mobile elements (Cd and Zn) within a 25-30-year life cycle of the crops. Cd and Zn in stems and foliage of Salix were 4-13 times higher than EDTA-extractable soil concentrations. Lability of other trace elements (As, Pb, Cu, Ni) was not increased 3 years after planting the coppice; woody biomass may provide an effective reduction of exposure (phytostabilisation) to these less mobile contaminants. - Field trials show short-rotation coppice provides effective risk management and remediation solutions to hotspots of residual metal and As contamination of brownfield land.

  13. Woody biomass phytoremediation of contaminated brownfield land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    French, Christopher J.; Dickinson, Nicholas M.; Putwain, Philip D.

    2006-01-01

    Economic and environmental regeneration of post-industrial landscapes frequently involves some element of re-afforestation or tree planting. We report field trials that evaluate whether woody biomass production is compatible with managing residual trace element contamination in brownfield soils. Large-scale mapping of contamination showed a heterogenous dispersion of metals and arsenic, and highly localised within-site hotspots. Yields of Salix, Populus and Alnus were economically viable, showing that short-rotation coppice has a potentially valuable role in community forestry. Mass balance modelling demonstrated that phytoextraction potentially could reduce contamination hotspots of more mobile elements (Cd and Zn) within a 25-30-year life cycle of the crops. Cd and Zn in stems and foliage of Salix were 4-13 times higher than EDTA-extractable soil concentrations. Lability of other trace elements (As, Pb, Cu, Ni) was not increased 3 years after planting the coppice; woody biomass may provide an effective reduction of exposure (phytostabilisation) to these less mobile contaminants. - Field trials show short-rotation coppice provides effective risk management and remediation solutions to hotspots of residual metal and As contamination of brownfield land

  14. Host range of Phytophthora parsiana: a new high temperature pathogen of woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somieh HAJEBRAHIMI

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Normal 0 14 false false false IT ZH-TW X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Among several Phytophthora spp. reported previously from Pistacia vera in Iran, a high temperature species recently identified as P. parsiana (formerly known as high temperature P. cryptogea is becoming important in woody plants, including P. vera. The host range of this newly recognised species, including both annual and perennial plants, is reported here. The pathogen infected 4–5 month-old glasshouse grown seedlings of P. vera, Ficus carica, Malus pumila and Prunus dulcis, and detached stems of 23 woody plants collected during dormant and growing seasons. Nineteen field and vegetable crops and 17 weed species were not infected by  P. parsiana in these pathogenicity assays.

  15. A sustainable woody biomass biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shijie; Lu, Houfang; Hu, Ruofei; Shupe, Alan; Lin, Lu; Liang, Bin

    2012-01-01

    Woody biomass is renewable only if sustainable production is imposed. An optimum and sustainable biomass stand production rate is found to be one with the incremental growth rate at harvest equal to the average overall growth rate. Utilization of woody biomass leads to a sustainable economy. Woody biomass is comprised of at least four components: extractives, hemicellulose, lignin and cellulose. While extractives and hemicellulose are least resistant to chemical and thermal degradation, cellulose is most resistant to chemical, thermal, and biological attack. The difference or heterogeneity in reactivity leads to the recalcitrance of woody biomass at conversion. A selection of processes is presented together as a biorefinery based on incremental sequential deconstruction, fractionation/conversion of woody biomass to achieve efficient separation of major components. A preference is given to a biorefinery absent of pretreatment and detoxification process that produce waste byproducts. While numerous biorefinery approaches are known, a focused review on the integrated studies of water-based biorefinery processes is presented. Hot-water extraction is the first process step to extract value from woody biomass while improving the quality of the remaining solid material. This first step removes extractives and hemicellulose fractions from woody biomass. While extractives and hemicellulose are largely removed in the extraction liquor, cellulose and lignin largely remain in the residual woody structure. Xylo-oligomers, aromatics and acetic acid in the hardwood extract are the major components having the greatest potential value for development. Higher temperature and longer residence time lead to higher mass removal. While high temperature (>200°C) can lead to nearly total dissolution, the amount of sugars present in the extraction liquor decreases rapidly with temperature. Dilute acid hydrolysis of concentrated wood extracts renders the wood extract with monomeric sugars

  16. Status of Agricultural Production and Crop Variety Improvement in Thailand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIAO Chun-hai; GUO Ying; YAO Ming-hua; WAN Zheng-huang

    2012-01-01

    We introduced basic conditions of agricultural production in Thailand, and variety improvement of major crops, including rice, cassava, rubber, and vegetable, in the hope of providing reference for agricultural production and crop variety improvement in Hubei Province and even in the whole country.

  17. The contribution of woody plant materials on the several conditions in a space environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Baba, Keiichi; Suzuki, Toshisada; Kimura, Shunta; Sato, Seigo; Katoh, Hiroshi; Abe, Yusuke; Katayama, Takeshi

    Woody plant materials have several utilization elements in our habitation environment on earth. The studies of woody plants under a space-environment in the vegetable kingdom have a high contribution to the study of various and exotic environmental responses, too. Woody plants can produce an excess oxygen, woody materials for the living cabin, and provide a biomass by cultivating crops and other species of creatures. Tree material would become to be a tool in closed bio-ecosystems such as an environment in a space. We named the trees used as material for the experiment related to space environments “CosmoBon”, small tree bonsai. Japanese cherry tree, “Sakura”, is famous and lovely tree in Japan. One species of “Sakura”, “Mamezakura, Prunus incisa”, is not only lovely tree species, but also suitable tree for the model tree of our purpose. The species of Prunus incisa is originally grown in volcano environment. That species of Sakura is originally grown on Mt. Fuji aria, oligotrophic place. We will try to build the best utilization usage of woody plant under the space environment by “Mamezakura” as a model tree. Here, we will show the importance of uniformity of materials when we will use the tree materials in a space environment. We will also discuss that tree has a high possibility of utilization under the space environments by using our several results related to this research.

  18. Genome editing for crop improvement: Challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdallah, Naglaa A; Prakash, Channapatna S; McHughen, Alan G

    2015-01-01

    Genome or gene editing includes several new techniques to help scientists precisely modify genome sequences. The techniques also enables us to alter the regulation of gene expression patterns in a pre-determined region and facilitates novel insights into the functional genomics of an organism. Emergence of genome editing has brought considerable excitement especially among agricultural scientists because of its simplicity, precision and power as it offers new opportunities to develop improved crop varieties with clear-cut addition of valuable traits or removal of undesirable traits. Research is underway to improve crop varieties with higher yields, strengthen stress tolerance, disease and pest resistance, decrease input costs, and increase nutritional value. Genome editing encompasses a wide variety of tools using either a site-specific recombinase (SSR) or a site-specific nuclease (SSN) system. Both systems require recognition of a known sequence. The SSN system generates single or double strand DNA breaks and activates endogenous DNA repair pathways. SSR technology, such as Cre/loxP and Flp/FRT mediated systems, are able to knockdown or knock-in genes in the genome of eukaryotes, depending on the orientation of the specific sites (loxP, FLP, etc.) flanking the target site. There are 4 main classes of SSN developed to cleave genomic sequences, mega-nucleases (homing endonuclease), zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and the CRISPR/Cas nuclease system (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/CRISPR-associated protein). The recombinase mediated genome engineering depends on recombinase (sub-) family and target-site and induces high frequencies of homologous recombination. Improving crops with gene editing provides a range of options: by altering only a few nucleotides from billions found in the genomes of living cells, altering the full allele or by inserting a new gene in a targeted region of

  19. Woodiness within the Spermacoceae–Knoxieae alliance (Rubiaceae): retention of the basal woody condition in Rubiaceae or recent innovation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lens, Frederic; Groeninckx, Inge; Smets, Erik; Dessein, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims The tribe Spermacoceae is essentially a herbaceous Rubiaceae lineage, except for some species that can be described as ‘woody’ herbs, small shrubs to treelets, or lianas. Its sister tribe Knoxieae contains a large number of herbaceous taxa, but the number of woody taxa is higher compared to Spermacoceae. The occurrence of herbaceous and woody species within the same group raises the question whether the woody taxa are derived from herbaceous taxa (i.e. secondary woodiness), or whether woodiness represents the ancestral state (i.e. primary woodiness). Microscopic observations of wood anatomy are combined with an independent molecular phylogeny to answer this question. Methods Observations of wood anatomy of 21 woody Spermacoceae and eight woody Knoxieae species, most of them included in a multi-gene molecular phylogeny, are carried out using light microscopy. Key Results Observations of wood anatomy in Spermacoceae support the molecular hypothesis that all the woody species examined are secondary derived. Well-known wood anatomical characters that demonstrate this shift from the herbaceous to the woody habit are the typically flat or decreasing length vs. age curves for vessel elements, the abundance of square and upright ray cells, or even the (near-) absence of rays. These so-called paedomorphic wood features are also present in the Knoxieae genera Otiophora, Otomeria, Pentas, Pentanisia and Phyllopentas. However, the wood structure of the other Knoxieae genera observed (Carphalea, Dirichletia and Triainolepis) is typical of primarily woody taxa. Conclusions In Spermacoceae, secondary woodiness has evolved numerous times in strikingly different habitats. In Knoxieae, there is a general trend from primary woodiness towards herbaceousness and back to (secondary) woodiness. PMID:19279041

  20. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F. [University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  1. Economic analysis of biomass crop production in Florida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, M.; Hodges, A.W.; Stricker, J.A.; Kiker, C.F.

    1997-01-01

    Favorable soil and climate conditions for production of biomass crops in Florida, and a market for their use, provide the essentials for developing a biomass energy system in the State. Recent surveys showed that there is low opportunity cost land available and several high yield herbaceous and woody crops have potential as biomass crops. Comparison of biomass crop yields, farmgate costs, and costs of final products in Florida and other states show that Florida can be considered as one of the best areas for development of biomass energy systems in the United States. This paper presents facts and figures on biomass production and conversion in Florida and addresses issues of concern to the economics of biomass energy in the State. (author)

  2. Woody biomass policies and location decisions of the woody bioenergy industry in the southern United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Zhimei; Hodges, Donald G.; Young, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    Woody biomass for bioenergy production has been included in relatively few renewable energy policies since the 1970s. Recently, however, several states have implemented a variety of new woody biomass policies to spur the establishment of new bioenergy industry. Establishing new woody biomass-based facilities in a specific state is affected by a number of factors such as the strength of these new policy incentives, resource availability, business tax climate, and the available labor force. This study employs a conditional logit model (CLM) to explore the effects of woody biomass policies on the siting decisions of new bioenergy projects relative to some of these other state attributes. The CLM results suggest that state government incentives are significantly related to state success in attracting new plants. The results have substantial implications regarding woody biomass policies and the creation of a new bioenergy industry. -- Highlights: •This study explores the effects of state attributes on the siting decisions of new woody bioenergy projects. •Results suggest that state woody biomass policies are significantly related to state success in attracting new plants. •Other factors related to the siting of woody bioenergy facilities include resource availability, taxes, and wage rate

  3. Efficacy of woody biomass and biochar for alleviating heavy metal bioavailability in serpentine soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandara, Tharanga; Herath, Indika; Kumarathilaka, Prasanna; Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Ok, Yong Sik; Vithanage, Meththika

    2017-04-01

    Crops grown in metal-rich serpentine soils are vulnerable to phytotoxicity. In this study, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) biomass and woody biochar were examined as amendments on heavy metal immobilization in a serpentine soil. Woody biochar was produced by slow pyrolysis of Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) biomass at 300 and 500 °C. A pot experiment was conducted for 6 weeks with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) at biochar application rates of 0, 22, 55 and 110 t ha -1 . The CaCl 2 and sequential extractions were adopted to assess metal bioavailability and fractionation. Six weeks after germination, plants cultivated on the control could not survive, while all the plants were grown normally on the soils amended with biochars. The most effective treatment for metal immobilization was BC500-110 as indicated by the immobilization efficiencies for Ni, Mn and Cr that were 68, 92 and 42 %, respectively, compared to the control. Biochar produced at 500 °C and at high application rates immobilized heavy metals significantly. Improvements in plant growth in biochar-amended soil were related to decreasing in metal toxicity as a consequence of metal immobilization through strong sorption due to high surface area and functional groups.

  4. Induced mutations for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Micke, A.; Donini, B.; Maluszynski, M.

    1990-01-01

    Mutation induction has become an established tool in plant breeding to supplement existing germ plasma and to improve cultivars in certain specific traits. Hundreds of improved varieties have been released to farmers for many different crop species, demonstrating the economic value of the technology. Limitations arise mainly from the large mutagenized populations to be screened and from the unsatisfactory selection methods. Both limitations may be eased to some extent by advances in techniques of plant in-vitro culture. (author). Refs, 1 fig., 7 tabs

  5. Achievements and trends of using induced mutations in crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichterlein, K.; Maluszynski, M.; ); Bohlmann, H.; Nielen, S.; )

    2000-01-01

    Mutation techniques have been employed for the genetic improvement of crops and ornamentals leading to the official release of more than 2200 improved varieties. Some of them have made a major impact on crop productivity and achieved great economic success. Induced mutations play an important role in plant genome research to understand the function of genes aiming to improve food security and diversity. (author)

  6. CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Genome Engineering for Improvement of Horticultural Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkute, Suhas G; Singh, Achuit K; Gupta, Om P; Singh, Prabhakar M; Singh, Bijendra

    2017-01-01

    Horticultural crops are an important part of agriculture for food as well as nutritional security. However, several pests and diseases along with adverse abiotic environmental factors pose a severe threat to these crops by affecting their quality and productivity. This warrants the effective and accelerated breeding programs by utilizing innovative biotechnological tools that can tackle aforementioned issues. The recent technique of genome editing by Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR associated 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) has greatly advanced the breeding for crop improvement due to its simplicity and high efficiency over other nucleases such as Zinc Finger Nucleases and Transcription Activator Like Effector Nucleases. CRISPR/Cas9 tool contains a non-specific Cas9 nuclease and a single guide RNA that directs Cas9 to the specific genomic location creating double-strand breaks and subsequent repair process creates insertion or deletion mutations. This is currently the widely adopted tool for reverse genetics, and crop improvement in large number of agricultural crops. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops is limited to few crops due to lack of availability of regeneration protocols and sufficient sequence information in many horticultural crops. In this review, the present status of applicability of CRISPR/Cas9 in horticultural crops was discussed along with the challenges and future potential for possible improvement of these crops for their yield, quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress.

  7. Backwater development by woody debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geertsema, Tjitske; Torfs, Paul; Teuling, Ryan; Hoitink, Ton

    2017-04-01

    Placement of woody debris is a common method for increasing ecological values in river and stream restoration, and is thus widely used in natural environments. Water managers, however, are afraid to introduce wood in channels draining agricultural and urban areas. Upstream, it may create backwater, depending on hydrodynamic characteristics including the obstruction ratio, the Froude number and the surface level gradient. Patches of wood may trigger or counter morphological activity, both laterally, through bank erosion and protection, and vertically, with pool and riffle formation. Also, a permeable construction composed of wood will weather over time. Both morphodynamic activity and weathering cause backwater effects to change in time. The purpose of this study is to quantify the time development of backwater effects caused by woody debris. Hourly water levels gauged upstream and downstream of patches and discharge are collected for five streams in the Netherlands. The water level drop over the woody debris patch relates to discharge in the streams. This relation is characterized by an increasing water level difference for an increasing discharge, up to a maximum. If the discharge increases beyond this level, the water level difference reduces to the value that may represent the situation without woody debris. This reduction depends primarily on the obstruction ratio of the woody debris in the channel cross-section. Morphologic adjustments in the stream and reorientation of the woody material reduce the water level drop over the patches in time. Our results demonstrate that backwater effects can be reduced by optimizing the location where woody debris is placed and manipulating the obstruction ratio. Current efforts are focussed on representing woody debris in a one-dimensional numerical model, aiming to obtain a generic tool to achieve a stream design with woody debris that minimizes backwater.

  8. Cisgenesis and Intragenesis: New tools For Improving Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Espinoza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO could be the answer for many relevant problems affecting crops. However, improving crops through GMO is also often associated with safety concerns, environmental risks and health issues due to the presence of foreign DNA. These limitations have prompted the development of alternative technologies. Recently, cisgenesis and intragenesis have been developed as new tools aimed to modify crops. While cisgenesis involves genetic modification using a complete copy of natural genes with their regulatory elements that belong exclusively to sexually compatible plants, intragenesis refers to the transference of new combinations of genes and regulatory sequences belonging to that particular species. So far, application of cisgenesis and intragenesis as alternatives to conventional transgenesis are limited to a few species, mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the regulatory sequences required. The grape is one of the most cultivated crops worldwide and is the most economically relevant crop in Chile. Its genomic sequence has been completed, making available new sources of information to improve grape traits by genetic manipulation. This review is focused on the current alternatives to transgenesis in plants, including new approaches to develop marker-free crops, their application to economically relevant crops and future perspectives in the area. Also, the identification of grapevine promoters with a wide range of expression profiles is shown. The expression pattern of these genes was analyzed in different tissues and developmental stages, as well as under several stresses and stimuli, giving a broad range of expression patterns, including genes expressed exclusively during ripening, in response to sugars, senescence and biotic stress, among others. Genes with strong and constitutive expression were also identified. Functional analysis using reporter genes has been conducted in order to confirm the promoter

  9. Optimization of Southeastern Forest Biomass Crop Production: A Watershed Scale Evaluation of the Sustainability and Productivity of Dedicated Energy Crop and Woody Biomass Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chescheir, George M. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Nettles, Jami E, [Weyerhaeuser Company; Youssef, Mohamed [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Birgand, Francois [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Amatya, Devendra M. [United States Forest Service; Miller, Darren A. [Weyerhaeuser Company; Sucre, Eric [Weyerhaeuser Company; Schilling, Erik [National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.; Tian, Shiying [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Cacho, Julian F. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Bennett, Erin M. [Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC; Carter, Taylor [HDR; Bowen, Nicole Dobbs [Engineering Design Consultants; Muwamba, Augustine [College of Charleston; Panda, Sudhanshu [University of North Georgia; Christopher, Sheila [Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Phillips, Brian D. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Appelboom, Timothy [NC Department of Environmental Quality; Skaggs, Richard W. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Greene, Ethan J. [Land Trust for Central North Carolina; Marshall, Craig D. [Mississippi State University; Allen, Elizabeth [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Schoenholtz, Stephen H. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2018-04-12

    Growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an intercrop in managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations has emerged as a potential source of bioenergy feedstock. Utilizing land resources between pine trees to produce an energy crop can potentially reduce the demand for land resources used to produce food; however, converting conventionally managed forest land to this new intercropping system constitutes changes in land use and associated management practices, which may affect the environmental and economic sustainability of the land.

    The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental effects of large-scale forest bioenergy crop production and utilize these results to optimize cropping systems in a manner that protects the important ecosystem services provided by forests while contributing to the development of a sustainable and economically-viable biomass industry in the southeastern United States.

    Specific objectives are to:

    1. Quantify the hydrology of different energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments on different landscapes in the southeast.
    2. Quantify the nutrient dynamics of energy crop production systems in watershed scale experiments to determine the impact of these systems on water quality.
    3. Evaluate the impacts of energy crop production on soil structure, fertility, and organic matter.
    4. Evaluate the response of flora and fauna populations and habitat quality to energy crop production systems.
    5. Develop watershed and regional scale models to evaluate the environmental sustainability and productivity of energy crop and woody biomass operations.
    6. Quantify the production systems in terms of bioenergy crop yield versus the energy and economic costs of production.
    7. Develop and evaluate best management practice guidelines to ensure the environmental sustainability of energy crop production systems.
    Watershed and plot scale studies

  10. Mutation breeding in crop improvement - achievements and prospects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kharkwal, M.C.

    2004-01-01

    Crop improvement programmes through induced mutations were initiated about seven decades ago. Majority of the mutant varieties have been released during the last two decades. In terms of the development and release of mutant varieties, China (605), India (309), Russia (204), the Netherlands (176), USA (125) and Japan (120) are the leading countries. Radiation, especially gamma radiation was the most frequently used mutagen for inducing mutations in crop plants. Out of 1072 mutant varieties of cereals, rice alone accounts for 434 varieties followed by barley (269). Mutation breeding has made significant contribution in increasing the production of rice, ground nut, castor, chickpea, mungbean and urd bean in the Indian subcontinent. The future mutation breeding programmes should be aimed at improving the root characters, nodulation in legumes, alteration of fatty acid composition in oil seeds, host pathogen interactions, photo- insensitivity and apomixix in crop plants

  11. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Nacira; Liu, Ailin; Kan, Leo; Li, Man-Wah; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2017-01-01

    Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea) to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes. PMID:28165413

  12. Potential Uses of Wild Germplasms of Grain Legumes for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nacira Muñoz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Challenged by population increase, climatic change, and soil deterioration, crop improvement is always a priority in securing food supplies. Although the production of grain legumes is in general lower than that of cereals, the nutritional value of grain legumes make them important components of food security. Nevertheless, limited by severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication and human selection, grain legumes, like other crops, have suffered from a loss of genetic diversity which is essential for providing genetic materials for crop improvement programs. Illustrated by whole-genome-sequencing, wild relatives of crops adapted to various environments were shown to maintain high genetic diversity. In this review, we focused on nine important grain legumes (soybean, peanut, pea, chickpea, common bean, lentil, cowpea, lupin, and pigeonpea to discuss the potential uses of their wild relatives as genetic resources for crop breeding and improvement, and summarized the various genetic/genomic approaches adopted for these purposes.

  13. Increasing crop diversity mitigates weather variations and improves yield stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, Amélie C M; Tolhurst, Tor N; Ker, Alan P; Janovicek, Ken; Tortora, Cristina; Martin, Ralph C; Deen, William

    2015-01-01

    Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops) and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage) on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple environmental

  14. Biomass fuel from woody crops for electric power generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perlack, R.D.; Wright, L.L.; Huston, M.A.; Schramm, W.E.

    1995-06-22

    This report discusses the biologic, environmental, economic, and operational issues associated with growing wood crops in managed plantations. Information on plantation productivity, environmental issues and impacts, and costs is drawn from DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development as well as commercial operations in the US and elsewhere. The particular experiences of three countries--Brazil, the Philippines, and Hawaii (US)--are discussed in considerable detail.

  15. Improving Bioenergy Crops through Dynamic Metabolic Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojdeh Faraji

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Enormous advances in genetics and metabolic engineering have made it possible, in principle, to create new plants and crops with improved yield through targeted molecular alterations. However, while the potential is beyond doubt, the actual implementation of envisioned new strains is often difficult, due to the diverse and complex nature of plants. Indeed, the intrinsic complexity of plants makes intuitive predictions difficult and often unreliable. The hope for overcoming this challenge is that methods of data mining and computational systems biology may become powerful enough that they could serve as beneficial tools for guiding future experimentation. In the first part of this article, we review the complexities of plants, as well as some of the mathematical and computational methods that have been used in the recent past to deepen our understanding of crops and their potential yield improvements. In the second part, we present a specific case study that indicates how robust models may be employed for crop improvements. This case study focuses on the biosynthesis of lignin in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum. Switchgrass is considered one of the most promising candidates for the second generation of bioenergy production, which does not use edible plant parts. Lignin is important in this context, because it impedes the use of cellulose in such inedible plant materials. The dynamic model offers a platform for investigating the pathway behavior in transgenic lines. In particular, it allows predictions of lignin content and composition in numerous genetic perturbation scenarios.

  16. Effect of soil and water conservation on rehabilitation of degraded lands and crop productivity in Maego watershed, North Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gebremariam Yaebiyo Dimtsu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Many soil and water conservation (SWC measures were undertaken to decrease land degradation in Ethiopia. However, evaluation of their performance is essential to understand their success or failure and readjusting accordingly in the future planning.  Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of SWC measures in rehabilitation of degraded watershed and increase crop productivity in Maego watershed, Ethiopia. Seventy six sample plots were randomly taken from treated and untreated sub-watersheds for woody species and soil sampling. Crops yield was measured on top side, middle zone and below side of SWC structures. There were significantly higher woody species density and diversity, total nitrogen (TN, soil organic matter (SOM and soil moisture in the treated uncultivated land than the untreated one. The highest tree and sapling species density and diversity, TN and SOM were recorded on the exclosure part of the treated sub-watershed. Landscape position affected soil fertility, but has no effect on woody species density and diversity. The highest barley and wheat yield was measured on top side of SWC structures. Therefore, physical SWC structures should be integrated with exclosure to enhance rehabilitation of degraded watersheds/landscapes. Integration of biological SWC measures that improve soil fertility are essential on the cultivated land of the watershed. Most of the existing SWC structures, especially the old ones are filled with accumulated sediment, so maintenance is needed.

  17. Silviculture and biology of short-rotation woody crops in temperate regions: Then and now

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickmann, Donald I. [Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1222 (United States)

    2006-08-15

    Although its roots are in antiquity, the current concept of short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) for fiber and energy evolved scientifically from pioneering tree breeding work begun in the early 20th century. A natural outgrowth of this work was the culture of fast-growing trees on rotations of 1-15 years. Close-spaced tree culture received further impetus with the introduction of the 'silage sycamore' concept in the southeastern US in the mid-1960s and the OPEC oil embargo in 1973, leading to statistically designed trials at numerous locations in North America, Europe, and Scandinavia. Early silvicultural research focused on spacing and species trials, propagation methods, site preparation, weed management, nutrition, growth, and yield. Because these trials were based on small plots, and the importance of pest depredations or site variation were not fully recognized, early biomass yield predictions tended to be overly optimistic. Soon physiologists and ecologists began to unravel the biological characteristics of SRWC plantations and their responses to environment. Knowledge of the influence and diversity of pests-insects, diseases, and animals-provided a necessary reality check. Many hardwood tree species and a few conifers have been evaluated over the years for SRWC in temperate regions of the world. Clones of Populus and Salix, however, became the dominant plantation material because of their inherently rapid growth and ease of propagation by hardwood cuttings. Among conifers, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) also shows promise. Because genetic variation is readily exploitable in the dominant SRWC taxa, strongly focused breeding programs began to provide highly productive genotypes and seed sources in the last decades of the 20th century. A new plateau, with significant practical potential, was reached in the late 20th century when biotechnological methods were applied to tree taxa. Recently, the DNA in the Populus genome was sequenced. Thus, the few current

  18. The potential of intercropping food crops and energy crop to improve productivity of a degraded agriculture land in arid tropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.K.D. Jaya

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Degraded agricultural lands in the arid tropics have low soil organic carbon (SOC and hence low productivity. Poor farmers that their livelihoods depend highly on these types of lands are suffering. Cropping strategies that are able to improve the soil productivity are needed. In the present study, some intercropping models of food crops with bio-energy crop of castor (Ricinus communis L. were tested to assess their potential to improve the degraded land productivity. The intercropping models were: (1 castor - hybrid maize, (2 castor – short season maize, (3 castor – mungbean, and (4 castor –short season maize – mungbean. The results show that yields of the component crops in monoculture were relatively the same as in intercropping, resulted in a high Land Equivalent Ratio (LER. The highest LER (3.07 was calculated from intercropping castor plants with short season maize crops followed by mungbean with intercropping productivity of IDR 15,097,600.00 ha-1. Intercropping has a great potential to improve degraded agriculture land productivity and castor is a promising plant to improve biodiversity and area coverage on the land.

  19. Precise, flexible and affordable gene stacking for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Weiqiang; Ow, David W

    2017-09-03

    The genetic engineering of plants offers a revolutionary advance for crop improvement, and the incorporation of transgenes into crop species can impart new traits that would otherwise be difficult to obtain through conventional breeding. Transgenes introduced into plants, however, can only be useful when bred out to field cultivars. As new traits are continually added to further improve transgenic cultivars, clustering new DNA near previously introduced transgenes keep from inflating the number of segregating units that breeders must assemble back into a breeding line. Here we discuss various options to introduce DNA site-specifically into an existing transgenic locus. As food security is becoming a pressing global issue, the old proverb resonates true to this day: "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Hence, we describe a recombinase-mediate gene stacking system designed with freedom to operate, providing an affordable option for crop improvement by less developed countries where food security is most at risk.

  20. Plant mutation breeding for crop improvement. V.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of the first two sessions of the FAO/IAEA Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, focussing on mutation breeding in particular countries and crop-specific mutation breeding. The individual contributions are indexed separately. Although a wide variety of topics is included, the emphasis is on the use of (mainly gamma) radiation to induce economically useful mutants in cereals and legumes. The results of many conventional plant breeding programs are also presented. Refs, figs and tabs

  1. Crop improvement through mutation techniques in Chinese agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen, X.; Qu, L.

    1996-01-01

    Induced mutations for crop improvement is the most developed field in China's nuclear-agricultural sciences. It is well known that China has supported 22% of the world's population with only 7% of its cultivated land. The continued rise in population stresses the importance of increasing food production. Although developing crop varieties is efficient in increasing food production, plant breeders are approaching the outer limits of existing and useful genetic variability. As nuclear techniques provide an efficient route to inducing genetic mutations, more and more efforts have been focused on induced genetic variability. Induced mutations have become an effective way of improving cultivars and supplementing existing germplasm. Since 1981 two nationwide co-operation programs for mutation breeding, organized by the IAEA, have been carried out. 3 tabs

  2. Climatological determinants of woody cover in Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Good, Stephen P.; Caylor, Kelly K.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the factors that influence the distribution of woody vegetation cover and resolving the sensitivity of woody vegetation cover to shifts in environmental forcing are critical steps necessary to predict continental-scale responses of dryland ecosystems to climate change. We use a 6-year satellite data record of fractional woody vegetation cover and an 11-year daily precipitation record to investigate the climatological controls on woody vegetation cover across the African continent....

  3. Improvement of new and traditional industrial crops by induced mutations and related biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-08-01

    Industrial crops are an important source of income for many small landholders in developing countries and contribute directly or indirectly to food security in rural areas. Crop diversification, finding alternative crops, development of new uses for existing crops and introduction of new crops are important components in the efforts to meet the demand for food, pharmaceuticals, chemical raw materials, fibres and fuel in developing and developed countries. Plant breeding efforts combining genetic resources and induced mutations using classical, in vitro and innovative molecular approaches have been responsible for much of the development of industrial crops. This co-ordinated research project (CRP) was initiated in 1994. It focused on developing mutagenesis approaches for previously unstudied species, screening procedures for agricultural and industrial requirements and suitable genotypes of traditional industrial crops adapted to new areas and for new needs. The industrial crops selected for improvement under this CRP were oilseeds and fibre plants. The potential of induced mutations to affect critical steps in various biosynthetic pathways leading to oil quality and other metabolic modifications was investigated. The success of this CRP is evidenced by the application of mutation techniques, in combination with in vitro and molecular techniques in genetic improvement of oilseed crops such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, linseed, cuphea, meadowfoam and fibre plants such as cotton and jute. As a result, improved breeding lines are available in all the industrial crops that the CRP focused on. Novel oil types were developed in cuphea with potential use as a renewable, economical and safe energy source and in linseed with increased levels of saturated fatty acids. Genes of fatty acid synthesis were isolated from one species and used for modification of quality of other oilseeds. Disease and pest resistance was improved in oilseeds and fibre crops through transgenesis

  4. Improvement of new and traditional industrial crops by induced mutations and related biotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-08-01

    Industrial crops are an important source of income for many small landholders in developing countries and contribute directly or indirectly to food security in rural areas. Crop diversification, finding alternative crops, development of new uses for existing crops and introduction of new crops are important components in the efforts to meet the demand for food, pharmaceuticals, chemical raw materials, fibres and fuel in developing and developed countries. Plant breeding efforts combining genetic resources and induced mutations using classical, in vitro and innovative molecular approaches have been responsible for much of the development of industrial crops. This co-ordinated research project (CRP) was initiated in 1994. It focused on developing mutagenesis approaches for previously unstudied species, screening procedures for agricultural and industrial requirements and suitable genotypes of traditional industrial crops adapted to new areas and for new needs. The industrial crops selected for improvement under this CRP were oilseeds and fibre plants. The potential of induced mutations to affect critical steps in various biosynthetic pathways leading to oil quality and other metabolic modifications was investigated. The success of this CRP is evidenced by the application of mutation techniques, in combination with in vitro and molecular techniques in genetic improvement of oilseed crops such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, linseed, cuphea, meadowfoam and fibre plants such as cotton and jute. As a result, improved breeding lines are available in all the industrial crops that the CRP focused on. Novel oil types were developed in cuphea with potential use as a renewable, economical and safe energy source and in linseed with increased levels of saturated fatty acids. Genes of fatty acid synthesis were isolated from one species and used for modification of quality of other oilseeds. Disease and pest resistance was improved in oilseeds and fibre crops through transgenesis

  5. Photo-biotechnology as a tool to improve agronomic traits in crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gururani, Mayank Anand; Ganesan, Markkandan; Song, Pill-Soon

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are photosensory phosphoproteins with crucial roles in plant developmental responses to light. Functional studies of individual phytochromes have revealed their distinct roles in the plant's life cycle. Given the importance of phytochromes in key plant developmental processes, genetically manipulating phytochrome expression offers a promising approach to crop improvement. Photo-biotechnology refers to the transgenic expression of phytochrome transgenes or variants of such transgenes. Several studies have indicated that crop cultivars can be improved by modulating the expression of phytochrome genes. The improved traits include enhanced yield, improved grass quality, shade-tolerance, and stress resistance. In this review, we discuss the transgenic expression of phytochrome A and its hyperactive mutant (Ser599Ala-PhyA) in selected crops, such as Zoysia japonica (Japanese lawn grass), Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass), Oryza sativa (rice), Solanum tuberosum (potato), and Ipomea batatas (sweet potato). The transgenic expression of PhyA and its mutant in various plant species imparts biotechnologically useful traits. Here, we highlight recent advances in the field of photo-biotechnology and review the results of studies in which phytochromes or variants of phytochromes were transgenically expressed in various plant species. We conclude that photo-biotechnology offers an excellent platform for developing crops with improved properties. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving crop yields for Sahelian Women | IDRC - International ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2016-06-07

    Jun 7, 2016 ... Less is more: Improving yields for Sahelian women with tiny dozes of fertilizer Farmers living in the semi-arid Sahel belt of West Africa are increasing the yields and income earned from their crops, thanks to a simple technique that combines small quantities of fertilizers (microdosing) with improved ...

  7. Comparative study of phloem loading radiotracer techniques for in vivo sucrose translocation in non woody and woody plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kulkarni, Pranav; Pandey, Manish; Suprasanna Penna; Ramteke, Sahadeo

    2017-01-01

    The application of radioisotopes for analysing the in vivo physiological responses in plants is a well known practical approach for the plant physiologists. Physiological difference in woody and non woody plants necessitates the need for universal way of application of radioisotopes to study in vivo sucrose translocation. In this study, grape vine (Vitis vinifera cv. Thomson seedless) and mustard (Brassica juncea cv. Pusa Bold) plants having active source and sink were used as representative system for woody and non woody plants. In present work we applied different strategies for radio activity loading in both boody and non woody plant viz. phloem loading via cut end, direct injection into phloem and activity incorporation through minor vein of leaves (gaseous CO 2 incorporation)

  8. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands: a comparison of terrestrial and wetland settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saintilan, Neil; Rogers, Kerrylee

    2015-02-01

    A global trend of woody plant encroachment of terrestrial grasslands is co-incident with woody plant encroachment of wetland in freshwater and saline intertidal settings. There are several arguments for considering tree encroachment of wetlands in the context of woody shrub encroachment of grassland biomes. In both cases, delimitation of woody shrubs at regional scales is set by temperature thresholds for poleward extent, and by aridity within temperature limits. Latitudinal expansion has been observed for terrestrial woody shrubs and mangroves, following recent warming, but most expansion and thickening has been due to the occupation of previously water-limited grassland/saltmarsh environments. Increases in atmospheric CO₂, may facilitate the recruitment of trees in terrestrial and wetland settings. Improved water relations, a mechanism that would predict higher soil moisture in grasslands and saltmarshes, and also an enhanced capacity to survive arid conditions, reinforces local mechanisms of change. The expansion of woody shrubs and mangroves provides a negative feedback on elevated atmospheric CO₂ by increasing carbon sequestration in grassland and saltmarsh, and is a significant carbon sink globally. These broad-scale vegetation shifts may represent a new stable state, reinforced by positive feedbacks between global change drivers and endogenic mechanisms of persistence in the landscape.

  9. Use of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi for improved crop production in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF), endophytic fungi reputed for their ability to enhance P uptake can be used to alleviate P deficiencies and improve crop productivity. Although the technology has been used in developed countries, it has not been applied in crop production systems in Africa to any significant level. This is ...

  10. A proposal for pellet production from residual woody biomass in the island of Majorca (Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sánchez

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The use of residual biomass for energy purposes is of great interest in isolated areas like Majorca for waste reduction, energy sufficiency and renewable energies development. In addition, densification processes lead to easy-to-automate solid biofuels which additionally have higher energy density. The present study aims at (i the estimation of the potential of residual biomass from woody crops as well as from agri-food and wood industries in Majorca, and (ii the analysis of the optimal location of potential pellet plants by means of a GIS approach (location-allocation analysis and a cost evaluation of the pellets production chain. The residual biomass potential from woody crops in Majorca Island was estimated at 35,874 metric tons dry matter (t DM per year, while the wood and agri-food industries produced annually 21,494 t DM and 2717 t DM, respectively. Thus, there would be enough resource available for the installation of 10 pellet plants of 6400 t·year−1 capacity. These plants were optimally located throughout the island of Mallorca with a maximum threshold distance of 28 km for biomass transport from the production points. Values found for the biomass cost at the pellet plant ranged between 57.1 €·t−1 and 63.4 €·t−1 for biomass transport distance of 10 and 28 km. The cost of pelleting amounted to 56.7 €·t−1; adding the concepts of business fee, pellet transport and profit margin (15%, the total cost of pelleting was estimated at 116.6 €·t−1. The present study provides a proposal for pellet production from residual woody biomass that would supply up to 2.8% of the primary energy consumed by the domestic and services sector in the Balearic Islands.

  11. Production of Short-Rotation Woody Crops Grown with a Range of Nutrient and Water Availability: Establishment Report and First-Year Responses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.R. Coyle; J. Blake; K. Britton; M.; R.G. Campbell; J. Cox; B. Cregg; D. Daniels; M. Jacobson; K. Johnsen; T. McDonald; K. McLeod; E.; D. Robison; R. Rummer; F. Sanchez; J.; B. Stokes; C. Trettin; J. Tuskan; L. Wright; S. Wullschleger

    2003-12-31

    Coleman, M.D., et. al. 2003. Production of Short-Rotation Woody Crops Grown with a Range of Nutrient and Water Availability: Establishment Report and First-Year Responses. Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 26 pp. Abstract: Many researchers have studied the productivity potential of intensively managed forest plantations. However, we need to learn more about the effects of fundamental growth processes on forest productivity; especially the influence of aboveground and belowground resource acquisition and allocation. This report presents installation, establishment, and first-year results of four tree species (two cottonwood clones, sycamore, sweetgum, and loblolly pine) grown with fertilizer and irrigation treatments. At this early stage of development, irrigation and fertilization were additive only in cottonwood clone ST66 and sweetgum. Leaf area development was directly related to stem growth, but root production was not always consistent with shoot responses, suggesting that allocation of resources varies among treatments. We will evaluate the consequences of these early responses on resource availability in subsequent growing seasons. This information will be used to: (1) optimize fiber and bioenergy production; (2) understand carbon sequestration; and (3) develop innovative applications such as phytoremediation; municipal, industrial, and agricultural wastes management; and protection of soil, air, and water resources.

  12. Modifying woody plants for efficient conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dinus, R.J.; Dimmel, D.R.; Feirer, R.P.; Johnson, M.A.; Malcolm, E.W. (Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Atlanta, GA (USA))

    1990-07-01

    The Short Rotation Woody Crop Program (SRWCP), Department of Energy, is developing woody plant species as sources of renewable energy. Much progress has been made in identifying useful species, and testing site adaptability, stand densities, coppicing abilities, rotation lengths, and harvesting systems. Conventional plant breeding and intensive cultural practices have been used to increase above-ground biomass yields. Given these and foreseeable accomplishments, program leaders are now shifting attention to prospects for altering biomass physical and chemical characteristics, and to ways for improving the efficiency with which biomass can be converted to gaseous and liquid fuels. This report provides a review and synthesis of literature concerning the quantity and quality of such characteristics and constituents, and opportunities for manipulating them via conventional selection and breeding and/or molecular biology. Species now used by SRWCP are emphasized, with supporting information drawn from others as needed. Little information was found on silver maple (Acer saccharinum), but general comparisons (Isenberg 1981) suggest composition and behavior similar to those of the other species. Where possible, conclusions concerning means for and feasibility of manipulation are given, along with expected impacts on conversion efficiency. Information is also provided on relationships to other traits, genotype X environment interactions, and potential trade-offs or limitations. Biomass productivity per se is not addressed, except in terms of effects that may by caused by changes in constituent quality and/or quantity. Such effects are noted to the extent they are known or can be estimated. Likely impacts of changes, however effected, on suitability or other uses, e.g., pulp and paper manufacture, are notes. 311 refs., 4 figs., 9 tabs.

  13. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso The results show that adoption of improved soil fertility technologies such as composting by farmers is determined by soil fertility status, access to the market and social reasons. Organic amendment...

  14. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso

  15. Induced mutations for crop improvement- the generation next

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatia, C.R.

    2000-01-01

    Experiments to use induced mutations for the improvement of crop plants were initiated in the country in mid nineteen fifties. After forty five years and reasonably good success stories, it is no longer an attractive subject for bright young graduate students. The areas of intellectually satisfying, contemporary, plant genetics based on induced mutations that can also bring social and commercial benefits are identified. These are: nodulation mutants in legumes, altering fatty acid composition in oil crops, modification of root characters, altering host-pathogen interactions, flowering time, day length insensitivity and some changes in modulation pattern involve mutations

  16. Woody biomass energy potential in 2050

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lauri, Pekka; Havlík, Petr; Kindermann, Georg; Forsell, Nicklas; Böttcher, Hannes; Obersteiner, Michael

    2014-01-01

    From a biophysical perspective, woody biomass resources are large enough to cover a substantial share of the world's primary energy consumption in 2050. However, these resources have alternative uses and their accessibility is limited, which tends to decrease their competitiveness with respect to other forms of energy. Hence, the key question of woody biomass use for energy is not the amount of resources, but rather their price. In this study we consider the question from the perspective of energy wood supply curves, which display the available amount of woody biomass for large-scale energy production at various hypothetical energy wood prices. These curves are estimated by the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM), which is a global partial equilibrium model of forest and agricultural sectors. The global energy wood supply is estimated to be 0–23 Gm 3 /year (0–165 EJ/year) when energy wood prices vary in a range of 0–30$/GJ (0–216$/m 3 ). If we add household fuelwood to energy wood, then woody biomass could satisfy 2–18% of world primary energy consumption in 2050. If primary forests are excluded from wood supply then the potential decreases up to 25%. - highlights: • We examine woody biomass energy potential by partial equilibrium model of forest and agriculture sectors. • It is possible to satisfy 18% (or 14% if primary forests are excluded) of the world's primary energy consumption in 2050 by woody biomass. • To achieve this would require an extensive subsidy/tax policy and would lead to substantial higher woody biomass prices compared to their current level

  17. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

  18. Forest operations and woody biomass logistics to improve efficiency, value, and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathaniel Anderson; Dana Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews the most recent work conducted by scientists and engineers of the Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the areas of forest operations and woody biomass logistics, with an emphasis on feedstock supply for emerging bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts applications. This work is presented in the context of previous...

  19. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Christoffer R.; Hanan, Niall P.

    2017-07-01

    Vegetation structure in water-limited systems is to a large degree controlled by ecohydrological processes, including mean annual precipitation (MAP) modulated by the characteristics of precipitation and geomorphology that collectively determine how rainfall is distributed vertically into soils or horizontally in the landscape. We anticipate that woody canopy cover, crown density, crown size, and the level of spatial aggregation among woody plants in the landscape will vary across environmental gradients. A high level of woody plant aggregation is most distinct in periodic vegetation patterns (PVPs), which emerge as a result of ecohydrological processes such as runoff generation and increased infiltration close to plants. Similar, albeit weaker, forces may influence the spatial distribution of woody plants elsewhere in savannas. Exploring these trends can extend our knowledge of how semi-arid vegetation structure is constrained by rainfall regime, soil type, topography, and disturbance processes such as fire. Using high-spatial-resolution imagery, a flexible classification framework, and a crown delineation method, we extracted woody vegetation properties from 876 sites spread over African savannas. At each site, we estimated woody cover, mean crown size, crown density, and the degree of aggregation among woody plants. This enabled us to elucidate the effects of rainfall regimes (MAP and seasonality), soil texture, slope, and fire frequency on woody vegetation properties. We found that previously documented increases in woody cover with rainfall is more consistently a result of increasing crown size than increasing density of woody plants. Along a gradient of mean annual precipitation from the driest (< 200 mm yr-1) to the wettest (1200-1400 mm yr-1) end, mean estimates of crown size, crown density, and woody cover increased by 233, 73, and 491 % respectively. We also found a unimodal relationship between mean crown size and sand content suggesting that maximal

  20. Patterns in woody vegetation structure across African savannas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Axelsson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation structure in water-limited systems is to a large degree controlled by ecohydrological processes, including mean annual precipitation (MAP modulated by the characteristics of precipitation and geomorphology that collectively determine how rainfall is distributed vertically into soils or horizontally in the landscape. We anticipate that woody canopy cover, crown density, crown size, and the level of spatial aggregation among woody plants in the landscape will vary across environmental gradients. A high level of woody plant aggregation is most distinct in periodic vegetation patterns (PVPs, which emerge as a result of ecohydrological processes such as runoff generation and increased infiltration close to plants. Similar, albeit weaker, forces may influence the spatial distribution of woody plants elsewhere in savannas. Exploring these trends can extend our knowledge of how semi-arid vegetation structure is constrained by rainfall regime, soil type, topography, and disturbance processes such as fire. Using high-spatial-resolution imagery, a flexible classification framework, and a crown delineation method, we extracted woody vegetation properties from 876 sites spread over African savannas. At each site, we estimated woody cover, mean crown size, crown density, and the degree of aggregation among woody plants. This enabled us to elucidate the effects of rainfall regimes (MAP and seasonality, soil texture, slope, and fire frequency on woody vegetation properties. We found that previously documented increases in woody cover with rainfall is more consistently a result of increasing crown size than increasing density of woody plants. Along a gradient of mean annual precipitation from the driest (< 200 mm yr−1 to the wettest (1200–1400 mm yr−1 end, mean estimates of crown size, crown density, and woody cover increased by 233, 73, and 491 % respectively. We also found a unimodal relationship between mean crown size and sand

  1. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  2. Frost resistance of alpine woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert eNeuner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research.Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover.Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate.In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers and fruits and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  3. Woody biomass logistics [Chapter 14

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Keefe; Nathaniel Anderson; John Hogland; Ken Muhlenfeld

    2014-01-01

    The economics of using woody biomass as a fuel or feedstock for bioenergy applications is often driven by logistical considerations. Depending on the source of the woody biomass, the acquisition cost of the material is often quite low, sometimes near zero. However, the cost of harvesting, collection, processing, storage, and transportation from the harvest site to end...

  4. Improved production systems for traditional food crops: The case of finger millet in Western Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Christina Handschuch; Meike Wollni

    2013-01-01

    Increasing agricultural productivity through the dissemination of improved cropping practices remains one of the biggest challenges of this century. A considerable amount of literature is dedicated to the adoption of improved cropping practices among smallholder farmers in developing countries. While most studies focus on cash crops or main staple crops, traditional food grains like finger millet have received little attention in the past decades. The present study aims to assess the factors ...

  5. Climatological determinants of woody cover in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Stephen P; Caylor, Kelly K

    2011-03-22

    Determining the factors that influence the distribution of woody vegetation cover and resolving the sensitivity of woody vegetation cover to shifts in environmental forcing are critical steps necessary to predict continental-scale responses of dryland ecosystems to climate change. We use a 6-year satellite data record of fractional woody vegetation cover and an 11-year daily precipitation record to investigate the climatological controls on woody vegetation cover across the African continent. We find that-as opposed to a relationship with only mean annual rainfall-the upper limit of fractional woody vegetation cover is strongly influenced by both the quantity and intensity of rainfall events. Using a set of statistics derived from the seasonal distribution of rainfall, we show that areas with similar seasonal rainfall totals have higher fractional woody cover if the local rainfall climatology consists of frequent, less intense precipitation events. Based on these observations, we develop a generalized response surface between rainfall climatology and maximum woody vegetation cover across the African continent. The normalized local gradient of this response surface is used as an estimator of ecosystem vegetation sensitivity to climatological variation. A comparison between predicted climate sensitivity patterns and observed shifts in both rainfall and vegetation during 2009 reveals both the importance of rainfall climatology in governing how ecosystems respond to interannual fluctuations in climate and the utility of our framework as a means to forecast continental-scale patterns of vegetation shifts in response to future climate change.

  6. Summer cover crops and soil amendments to improve growth and nutrient uptake of okra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Q.R.; Li, Y.C.; Klassen, W. [University of Florida, Homestead, FL (United States). Center for Tropical Research & Education

    2006-04-15

    A pot experiment with summer cover crops and soil amendments was conducted in two consecutive years to elucidate the effects of these cover crops and soil amendments on 'Clemson Spineless 80' okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) yields and biomass production, and the uptake and distribution of soil nutrients and trace elements. The cover crops were sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana), and sorghum sudan-grass (Sorghum bicolor x S. bicolor var. sudanense) with fallow as the control. The organic soil amendments were biosolids (sediment from wastewater plants), N-Viro Soil (a mixture of biosolids and coal ash), coal ash (a combustion by-product from power plants), co-compost (a mixture of 3 biosolids: 7 yard waste), and yard waste compost (mainly from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs, and grass clippings) with a soil-incorporated cover crop as the control. As a subsequent vegetable crop, okra was grown after the cover crops, alone or together with the organic soil amendments, had been incorporated. All of the cover crops, except sorghum sudangrass in 2002-03, significantly improved okra fruit yields and the total biomass production. Both cover crops and soil amendments can substantially improve nutrient uptake and distribution. The results suggest that cover crops and appropriate amounts of soil amendments can be used to improve soil fertility and okra yield without adverse environmental effects or risk of contamination of the fruit. Further field studies will be required to confirm these findings.

  7. Field note: comparative efficacy of a woody evapotranspiration landfill cover following the removal of aboveground biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, William; Munk, Jens; Byrd, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    Woody vegetation cultivated for moisture management on evapotranspiration (ET) landfill covers could potentially serve a secondary function as a biomass crop. However, research is required to evaluate the extent to which trees could be harvested from ET covers without significantly impacting their moisture management function. This study investigated the drainage through a six-year-old, primarily poplar/cottonwood ET test cover for a period of one year following the harvest of all woody biomass exceeding a height of 30 cm above ground surface. Results were compared to previously reported drainage observed during the years leading up to the coppice event. In the first year following coppice, the ET cover was found to be 93% effective at redirecting moisture during the spring/summer season, and 95% effective during the subsequent fall/winter season. This was slightly lower than the 95% and 100% efficacy observed in the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons, respectively, during the final measured year prior to coppice. However, the post-coppice efficacy was higher than the efficacy observed during the first three years following establishment of the cover. While additional longer-term studies are recommended, this project demonstrated that woody ET covers could potentially produce harvestable biomass while still effectively managing aerial moisture.

  8. Small RNAs in plants: Recent development and application for crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayushi eKamthan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi which involves sequence specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs i.e small interfering RNA (siRNA and micro RNA (miRNA has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits & vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold etc.. Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. Micro RNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24nt, miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. Micro RNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of small RNAs and its application for crop improvement.

  9. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement.

  10. Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankaran, M.; Hanan, N.P.; Scholes, Robert J.; Ratnam, J.; Augustine, D.J.; Cade, B.S.; Gignoux, J.; Higgins, S.I.; Le, Roux X.; Ludwig, F.; Ardo, J.; Banyikwa, F.; Bronn, A.; Bucini, G.; Caylor, K.K.; Coughenour, M.B.; Diouf, A.; Ekaya, W.; Feral, C.J.; February, E.C.; Frost, P.G.H.; Hiernaux, P.; Hrabar, H.; Metzger, K.L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Ringrose, S.; Sea, W.; Tews, J.; Worden, J.; Zambatis, N.

    2005-01-01

    Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties 1-3. The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in regulating woody cover1,2,4,5, but perceptions differ on which of these are the primary drivers of savanna structure. Here we show, using data from 854 sites across Africa, that maximum woody cover in savannas receiving a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than ???650 mm is constrained by, and increases linearly with, MAP. These arid and semi-arid savannas may be considered 'stable' systems in which water constrains woody cover and permits grasses to coexist, while fire, herbivory and soil properties interact to reduce woody cover below the MAP-controlled upper bound. Above a MAP of ???650 mm, savannas are 'unstable' systems in which MAP is sufficient for woody canopy closure, and disturbances (fire, herbivory) are required for the coexistence of trees and grass. These results provide insights into the nature of African savannas and suggest that future changes in precipitation 6 may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics. ?? 2005 Nature Publishing Group.

  11. Improvement of oil-seed and industrial crops by induced mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Out of 22 papers presented, seven dealing with the genetic improvement of crops using ionizing radiations, fall within the INIS subject scope. Other topics covered were oil-seed quality requirements for industrial processing and concepts of improving biomass production from higher plants

  12. Crop improvement by using radiation mutation breeding in Korea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Young IL

    1998-01-01

    For crop improvement by the application of radiation technology, induction of mutants by in vivo and in vitro mutagenesis were developed in various crop plants in Korea. Several mutants have been released as recommended cultivars to farmers in rice, soybean, sesame and barley since 1970. Induced mutations were widely used for the introduction of genetic transformation and extending plant genetic resources. High yield, short plant, earliness, resistance to diseases, high protein and oil contents were obtained in the advanced generation of mutation by radiation application to several crops of in vivo and in vitro cultured materials. For induction and selection of promising mutants by in vivo and in vitro mutagenesis, various crops were successively irradiated with radiation to investigate the radiosensitivities, the mutation spectrum and mutation rate for selection of useful mutants. Plant tissue culture methods were developed for in vitro mutagenesis in the seed and the vegetatively propagating crops. Embryogenic callus was obtained from shoot tip culture of sweet potato, and micro propagation was developed from nodal stem culture of potato. The radiosensitivities were investigated in cell, callus, and in vitro plant lets. About 800 lines of mutants were evaluated for the agro-genetic resources. (author). 19 refs., 5 tabs

  13. Crop improvement for salinity and drought tolerance using nuclear and related techniques (abstract)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serraj, R.; Lagoda, P.J.

    2005-01-01

    Although drought and salinity stresses have long been recognised as major constraints of crop productivity, the genetic advances in breeding programs for drought-prone and saline environments have been slow. An important reason for this is that dry environments are often characterized by unpredictable and highly variable seasonal rainfall, and hence highly variable yields and genotype-by-environment interaction (G x E). Similarly, saline environments show large spatial and temporal variability in the nature and degree of sanotiazol. Another major constraint to the genetic improvement of drought and salinity tolerance traits is the lack of understanding of their complex physiological and genetic bases, and the difficulty in combining favourable alleles into adapted and high yielding genotypes. Many claims have been made for the improvement of drought and salinity tolerance through biotechnology and genetic engineering, but there have been few if any successful examples of these resulting in increased yields in farmers' fields. Conventional breeding for drought has been slightly successful, although for salinity only a few examples of improved cultivars have been released. Similarly, marker assisted breeding (MAB) can be effective in a trait-based approach to crop improvement for stress environments, as it allows the incorporation of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for superior expression of major yield components under stress, where there are regular associations between such components and overall grain yield. MAB provides opportunities for both the introgression of various individual physiological or biochemical tolerance traits and/or for selection for complex, whole crop responses involved In crop tolerance to stress. Systematically pyramiding tolerance traits, which individually may have only a limited effect on the overall phenotype, in selected genotypes can provide a significant cumulative effect on crop yield under stress. In view of the multigenic and

  14. A Regional Study of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Plantation Development During the First 15 Years After Early Complete Woody and/or Herbaceous Plant Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    James H. Miller; Bruce R. Zutter; Shepard M. Zedaker; M. Boyd Edwards; Ray A. Newbold

    2002-01-01

    Conifer plantations in North America and elsewhere in the world are increasingly cultured using early control of herbaceous and woody plants. Development of sustainable cultural practices are hindered by the absence of long-term data on productivity gains relative to competition levels, crop- competition dynamics, and ecological changes. There are lmany reports of...

  15. Improving the Monitoring of Crop Productivity Using Spaceborne Solar-Induced Fluorescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Kaiyu; Berry, Joseph A.; Zhang, Yongguang; Joiner, Joanna; Guanter, Luis; Badgley, Grayson; Lobell, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale monitoring of crop growth and yield has important value for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring regional food security. A newly emerging satellite retrieval, solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) of chlorophyll, provides for the first time a direct measurement related to plant photosynthetic activity (i.e. electron transport rate). Here, we provide a framework to link SIF retrievals and crop yield, accounting for stoichiometry, photosynthetic pathways, and respiration losses. We apply this framework to estimate United States crop productivity for 2007-2012, where we use the spaceborne SIF retrievals from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 satellite, benchmarked with county-level crop yield statistics, and compare it with various traditional crop monitoring approaches. We find that a SIF-based approach accounting for photosynthetic pathways (i.e. C3 and C4 crops) provides the best measure of crop productivity among these approaches, despite the fact that SIF sensors are not yet optimized for terrestrial applications. We further show that SIF provides the ability to infer the impacts of environmental stresses on autotrophic respiration and carbon-use-efficiency, with a substantial sensitivity of both to high temperatures. These results indicate new opportunities for improved mechanistic understanding of crop yield responses to climate variability and change.

  16. Mutation breeding for crop improvement: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Awan, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    More than 70 years have passed since radiation was used successfully to generate genetic variation in plants. Since the research on theoretical basis of mutagenesis was performed with a peak in the mid sixties. The result of these investigations led to the formulation of methodological principles in the use of various mutagens for the creation and selection of desired variability. The induced genetic variability has been extensively used for evolution of crop varieties as well as in breeding programmes. More than 1800 varieties of 154 plants species have so far been released for commercial cultivation, of which cereals are at the top, demonstrating the economics of the mutation breeding technique. The most frequently occurring mutations have been the short stature and really maturity. In Pakistan, the use of mutation breeding technique for the improvement of crops has also led to the development of 34 cultivars of cotton, rice, wheat, chickpea, mungbean and rapeseed which have played a significant role in increasing crop production in the country. In addition, a wealth of genetic variability has been developed for use in the cross breeding programmes, and the breeders in Pakistan have released six varieties of cotton by using an induced mutant as one of the parents. (author)

  17. Engineering chloroplasts to improve Rubisco catalysis: prospects for translating improvements into food and fiber crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharwood, Robert E

    2017-01-01

    494 I. 495 II. 496 III. 496 IV. 499 V. 499 VI. 501 VII. 501 VIII. 502 IX. 505 X. 506 507 References 507 SUMMARY: The uncertainty of future climate change is placing pressure on cropping systems to continue to provide stable increases in productive yields. To mitigate future climates and the increasing threats against global food security, new solutions to manipulate photosynthesis are required. This review explores the current efforts available to improve carbon assimilation within plant chloroplasts by engineering Rubisco, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step of CO 2 fixation. Fixation of CO 2 and subsequent cycling of 3-phosphoglycerate through the Calvin cycle provides the necessary carbohydrate building blocks for maintaining plant growth and yield, but has to compete with Rubisco oxygenation, which results in photorespiration that is energetically wasteful for plants. Engineering improvements in Rubisco is a complex challenge and requires an understanding of chloroplast gene regulatory pathways, and the intricate nature of Rubisco catalysis and biogenesis, to transplant more efficient forms of Rubisco into crops. In recent times, major advances in Rubisco engineering have been achieved through improvement of our knowledge of Rubisco synthesis and assembly, and identifying amino acid catalytic switches in the L-subunit responsible for improvements in catalysis. Improving the capacity of CO 2 fixation in crops such as rice will require further advances in chloroplast bioengineering and Rubisco biogenesis. © 2016 The Author. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  18. Woody Species Diversity in Traditional Agroforestry Practices of Dellomenna District, Southeastern Ethiopia: Implication for Maintaining Native Woody Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abiot Molla

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The major impact of humans on forest ecosystems including loss of forest area, habitat fragmentation, and soil degradation leads to losses of biodiversity. These problems can be addressed by integration of agriculture with forests and maintaining the existing forests. This study was initiated to assess woody species diversity of traditional agroforestry practices. Three study sites (Burkitu, Chire, and Erba were selected based on the presence of agroforestry practice. Forty-eight (48 sample quadrants having an area of 20 m × 20 m, 16 sample quadrants in each study site, were systematically laid using four transect lines at different distance. The diversity of woody species was analyzed by using different diversity indices. A total of 55 woody species belonging to 31 families were identified and documented. There were significantly different (P<0.05 among the study Kebeles (peasant associations. Mangifera indica, Entada abyssinica, and Croton macrostachyus were found to have the highest Important Value Index. The results confirmed that traditional agroforestry plays a major role in the conservation of native woody species. However, threats to woody species were observed. Therefore, there is a need to undertake conservation practices before the loss of species.

  19. The influence of large woody debris and a bankfull flood on movement of adult resident coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) during fall and winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bret C. Harvey; Rodney J. Nakamoto; Jason L. White

    1999-01-01

    Abstract - To improve understanding of the significance of large woody debris to stream fishes, we examined the influence of woody debris on fall and winter movement by adult coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) using radiotelemetry. Fish captured in stream pools containing large woody debris moved less than fish captured in pools lacking large woody debris or...

  20. Biotechnological approach in crop improvement by mutation breeding in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soeranto, H.; Sobrizal; Sutarto, Ismiyati; Manurung, Simon; Mastrizal [National Nuclear Energy Agency, Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, Jakarta (Indonesia)

    2002-02-01

    Mutation breeding has become a proven method of improving crop varieties. Most research on plant mutation breeding in Indonesia is carried out at the Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN). Nowadays, a biotechnological approach has been incorporated in some mutation breeding researches in order to improve crop cultivars. This approach is simply based on cellular totipotency, or the ability to regenerate whole, flowering plants from isolated organs, pieces of tissue, individual cells, and protoplasts. Tissue culture technique has bee extensively used for micro propagation of disease-free plants. Other usage of this technique involves in various steps of the breeding process such as germplasm preservation, clonal propagation, and distant hybridization. Mutation breeding combined with tissue culture technique has made a significant contribution in inducing plant genetic variation, by improving selection technology, and by accelerating breeding time as for that by using anther or pollen culture. In Indonesia, research on mutation breeding combined with tissue culture techniques has been practiced in different crop species including rice, ginger, banana, sorghum etc. Specially in rice, a research on identification of DNA markers linked to blast disease resistance is now still progressing. A compiled report from some research activities is presented in this paper. (author)

  1. Exploring and Harnessing Haplotype Diversity to Improve Yield Stability in Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lunwen Qian

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to meet future food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy demands, global yields of all major crops need to be increased significantly. At the same time, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as heat and drought necessitates improvements in the environmental resilience of modern crop cultivars. Achieving sustainably increase yields implies rapid improvement of quantitative traits with a very complex genetic architecture and strong environmental interaction. Latest advances in genome analysis technologies today provide molecular information at an ultrahigh resolution, revolutionizing crop genomic research, and paving the way for advanced quantitative genetic approaches. These include highly detailed assessment of population structure and genotypic diversity, facilitating the identification of selective sweeps and signatures of directional selection, dissection of genetic variants that underlie important agronomic traits, and genomic selection (GS strategies that not only consider major-effect genes. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers today represent the genotyping system of choice for crop genetic studies because they occur abundantly in plant genomes and are easy to detect. SNPs are typically biallelic, however, hence their information content compared to multiallelic markers is low, limiting the resolution at which SNP–trait relationships can be delineated. An efficient way to overcome this limitation is to construct haplotypes based on linkage disequilibrium, one of the most important features influencing genetic analyses of crop genomes. Here, we give an overview of the latest advances in genomics-based haplotype analyses in crops, highlighting their importance in the context of polyploidy and genome evolution, linkage drag, and co-selection. We provide examples of how haplotype analyses can complement well-established quantitative genetics frameworks, such as quantitative trait analysis and GS, ultimately

  2. Exploring and Harnessing Haplotype Diversity to Improve Yield Stability in Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Lunwen; Hickey, Lee T; Stahl, Andreas; Werner, Christian R; Hayes, Ben; Snowdon, Rod J; Voss-Fels, Kai P

    2017-01-01

    In order to meet future food, feed, fiber, and bioenergy demands, global yields of all major crops need to be increased significantly. At the same time, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as heat and drought necessitates improvements in the environmental resilience of modern crop cultivars. Achieving sustainably increase yields implies rapid improvement of quantitative traits with a very complex genetic architecture and strong environmental interaction. Latest advances in genome analysis technologies today provide molecular information at an ultrahigh resolution, revolutionizing crop genomic research, and paving the way for advanced quantitative genetic approaches. These include highly detailed assessment of population structure and genotypic diversity, facilitating the identification of selective sweeps and signatures of directional selection, dissection of genetic variants that underlie important agronomic traits, and genomic selection (GS) strategies that not only consider major-effect genes. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers today represent the genotyping system of choice for crop genetic studies because they occur abundantly in plant genomes and are easy to detect. SNPs are typically biallelic, however, hence their information content compared to multiallelic markers is low, limiting the resolution at which SNP-trait relationships can be delineated. An efficient way to overcome this limitation is to construct haplotypes based on linkage disequilibrium, one of the most important features influencing genetic analyses of crop genomes. Here, we give an overview of the latest advances in genomics-based haplotype analyses in crops, highlighting their importance in the context of polyploidy and genome evolution, linkage drag, and co-selection. We provide examples of how haplotype analyses can complement well-established quantitative genetics frameworks, such as quantitative trait analysis and GS, ultimately providing an effective tool

  3. Scope for improved eco-efficiency varies among diverse cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carberry, Peter S; Liang, Wei-li; Twomlow, Stephen; Holzworth, Dean P; Dimes, John P; McClelland, Tim; Huth, Neil I; Chen, Fu; Hochman, Zvi; Keating, Brian A

    2013-05-21

    Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countries were compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at low intensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to eco-efficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems.

  4. Induced mutations and molecular techniques for crop improvement. Proceedings of an international symposium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The symposium was aimed at reviewing current aspects of mutation and molecular biology techniques for use in crop improvement and to bridge the gap between practical plant breeding and molecular laboratory techniques. Over the past few years, many transgenic plants have been developed in important crops such as rice, wheat, maize, soybean, banana, cassava and cotton, as well as in many food, industrial and pharmaceutical plant species. More than 180 participants from 48 countries of which 31 were from developing countries, attended which provided a forum for the discussion of problems related to crop improvement world wide, and their possible solutions. Refs, figs and tabs

  5. 48 CFR 1452.237-71 - Utilization of Woody Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Biomass. 1452.237-71 Section 1452.237-71 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Utilization of Woody Biomass. As prescribed in § 1437.7202, insert the following clause: Utilization of Woody Biomass (MAY 2005) (a) The contractor may remove and utilize woody biomass, if: (1) Project work is...

  6. Uses of in vitro propagation for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazarte, J.E.

    1984-01-01

    For crop improvement the uses of tissue culture are multiple; tissue culture alone is important in clonal propagation and for developing new genotypes. Together with other techniques such as the ones used in mutation breeding, tissue culture will increase the chance for mutations to occur by increasing the number of meristems per area of treatment. With this combination of techniques there is the possibility of developing better crops in a shorter period, thus complementing the work done by nature and by traditional breeding methodology. This is important since world population is expected to double by the year 2000, which is only 18 years away. Tissue culture is a general term used to describe any method of aseptic culture, i.e. meristem, callus, cell, shoot tip, anther culture, etc

  7. Handbook for inventorying downed woody material

    Science.gov (United States)

    James K. Brown

    1974-01-01

    To facilitate debris management, procedures for inventorying downed woody material are presented. Instructions show how to estimate weights and volumes of downed woody material, fuel depth, and duff depth. Using the planar intersect technique, downed material is inventoried by 0- to 0.25-inch, 0.25- to 1-inch, and 1- to 3-inch diameter classes; and by 1-inch classes...

  8. Use of nuclear and biotechnological tools for improving crop yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukherjee, Prasun K.; Venugopalan, V.P.

    2017-01-01

    Crop improvement, crop production and crop protection are the three pillars of agriculture. Optimum yield can be achieved only by cultivating the best available variety coupled with good agronomic practices and robust plant protection (from pests and diseases). Depletion of soil organic matter has become a serious problem, especially in the post-green revolution era, due to the cultivation of nutrient-exhausting, high yielding crop varieties with intensive chemical inputs. Soil organic matter is crucial not only for restoring soil physical properties, but also to sustain the soil flora and fauna that are involved in nutrient cycling. Depletion of cattle population has resulted in less availability of manures. In order to assess the soil health and extent of carbon depletion, we have developed a user-friendly kit for in situ soil organic carbon detection. This technology has been transferred to six companies and many products are already available in the market. This technology has been adopted by CIFAL (Sweden), an FAO -backed NGO for imparting training to the farmers in African countries

  9. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  10. How can we improve Mediterranean cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benlhabib, O.; Yazar, A.; Qadir, M.

    2014-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, crop productivity and food security are closely linked to the adaptation of cropping systems to multiple abiotic stresses. Limited and unpredictable rainfall and low soil fertility have reduced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. For this reason...... the tested interventions, incorporation of crop residues coupled with supplementary irrigation showed a significantly positive effect on crop productivity, yield stability and environmental sustainability....

  11. Woody biomass availability for bioethanol conversion in Mississippi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez-Verdin, Gustavo; Grebner, Donald L.; Sun, Changyou; Munn, Ian A.; Schultz, Emily B.; Matney, Thomas G.

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated woody biomass from logging residues, small-diameter trees, mill residues, and urban waste as a feedstock for cellulosic ethanol conversion in Mississippi. The focus on Mississippi was to assess in-state regional variations and provide specific information of biomass estimates for those facilities interested in locating in Mississippi. Supply and cost of four woody biomass sources were derived from Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) information, a recent forest inventory conducted by the Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory, and primary production costs. According to our analysis, about 4.0 million dry tons of woody biomass are available for production of up to 1.2 billion liters of ethanol each year in Mississippi. The feedstock consists of 69% logging residues, 21% small-diameter trees, 7% urban waste, and 3% mill residues. Of the total, 3.1 million dry tons (930 million liters of ethanol) can be produced for $34 dry ton -1 or less. Woody biomass from small-diameter trees is more expensive than other sources of biomass. Transportation costs accounted for the majority of total production costs. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the largest impacts in production costs of ethanol come from stumpage price of woody biomass and technological efficiency. These results provide a valuable decision support tool for resource managers and industries in identifying parameters that affect resource magnitude, type, and location of woody biomass feedstocks in Mississippi. (author)

  12. Thermo-Analytical and Physico-Chemical Characterization of Woody and Non-Woody Biomass from an Agro-ecological Zone in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayokunle Oluwabusayo Balogun

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Woody (Albizia pedicellaris and Terminalia ivorensis and non-woody (guinea corn (Sorghum bicolor glume and stalk biomass resources from Nigeria were subjected to thermo-analytical and physico-chemical analyses to determine their suitability for thermochemical processing. They were found to have comparably high calorific values (between 16.4 and 20.1 MJ kg-1. The woody biomass had very low ash content (0.32%, while the non-woody biomass had relatively high ash content (7.54%. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA of the test samples showed significant variation in the decomposition behavior of the individual biomasses. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs derivatives indicated the presence of fatty and resin acids in the dichloromethane (CH2Cl2 extracts. Analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS of the samples revealed that the volatiles liberated consisted mostly of acids, alcohols, ketones, phenols, and sugar derivatives. These biomass types were deemed suitable for biofuel applications.

  13. Management of Lignite Fly Ash for Improving Soil Fertility and Crop Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Lal C.; Srivastava, Nishant K.; Jha, Sangeet K.; Sinha, Awadhesh K.; Masto, Reginald E.; Selvi, Vetrivel A.

    2007-09-01

    Lignite fly ash (LFA), being alkaline and endowed with excellent pozzolanic properties, a silt loam texture, and plant nutrients, has the potential to improve soil quality and productivity. Long-term field trials with groundnut, maize, and sun hemp were carried out to study the effect of LFA on growth and yield. Before crop I was sown, LFA was applied at various doses with and without press mud (an organic waste from the sugar industry, used as an amendment and source of nutrients). LFA with and without press mud was also applied before crops III and V were cultivated. Chemical fertilizer, along with gypsum, humic acid, and biofertilizer, was applied in all treatments, including the control. With one-time and repeat applications of LFA (with and without press mud), yield increased significantly (7.0-89.0%) in relation to the control crop. The press mud enhanced the yield (3.0-15.0%) with different LFA applications. The highest yield LFA dose was 200 t/ha for one-time and repeat applications, the maximum yield being with crop III (combination treatment). One-time and repeat application of LFA (alone and in combination with press mud) improved soil quality and the nutrient content of the produce. The highest dose of LFA (200 t/ha) with and without press mud showed the best residual effects (eco-friendly increases in the yield of succeeding crops). Some increase in trace- and heavy-metal contents and in the level of γ-emitters in soil and crop produce, but well within permissible limits, was observed. Thus, LFA can be used on a large scale to boost soil fertility and productivity with no adverse effects on the soil or crops, which may solve the problem of bulk disposal of fly ash in an eco-friendly manner.

  14. Determinants of patchiness of woody vegetation in an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldhuis, Michiel P.; Rozen-Rechels, David; le Roux, Elizabeth; Cromsigt, Joris P.G.M.; Berg, Matheus P.; Olff, Han

    2016-01-01

    How is woody vegetation patchiness affected by rainfall, fire and large herbivore biomass? Can we predict woody patchiness and cover over large-scale environmental gradients? We quantified variation in local patchiness as the lacunarity of woody cover on satellite-derived images. Using Random Forest

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Field and flume investigations of the effects of logjams and woody debris on streambed morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, V.; Montgomery, D. R.; McHenry, M. L.

    2014-12-01

    Interactions among wood debris, fluid flow and sediment transport in rivers are first-order controls on channel morphodynamics, affecting streambed morphology, sediment transport, sediment storage and aquatic habitat. Woody debris increases the hydraulic and topographic complexity in rivers, leading to a greater diversity of aquatic habitats and an increase in the number of large pools that are important fish habitat and breeding grounds. In the past decade, engineered logjams have become an increasingly used tool in river management for simultaneously decreasing the rate of riverbank migration and improving aquatic habitat. Sediment deposits around woody debris build up riverbanks and counteract bank migration caused by erosion. Previous experiments on flow visualization around model woody debris suggest the amount of sediment scour and deposition are primarily related to the presence of roots and the obstructional area of the woody debris. We present the results of fieldwork and sediment transport experiments of streambed morphology around stationary woody debris. Field surveys on the Hoh River and the Elwha River, WA, measure the local streambed morphology around logjams and individual pieces of woody debris. We quantified the amount of local scour and dam-removal related fine sediment deposition around natural and engineered logjams of varying sizes and construction styles, located in different geomorphic settings. We also quantified the amount of local scour around individual pieces of woody debris of varying sizes, geometries and orientations relative to flow. The flume experiments tested the effects of root geometry and log orientation of individual stationary trees on streambed morphology. The flume contained a deformable sediment bed of medium sand. We find that: 1) the presence of roots on woody debris leads to greater areas of both sediment scour and deposition; and 2) the amount of sediment scour and deposition are related to the wood debris cross

  18. Transgenic crops with an improved resistance to biotic stresses. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohidfar, M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Pests, diseases and weeds (biotic stresses are significant limiting factors for crop yield and production. However, the limitations associated with conventional breeding methods necessitated the development of alternative methods for improving new varieties with higher resistance to biotic stresses. Molecular techniques have developed applicable methods for genetic transformation of a wide range of plants. Genetic engineering approach has been demonstrated to provide enormous options for the selection of the resistance genes from different sources to introduce them into plants to provide resistance against different biotic stresses. Literature. In this review, we focus on strategies to achieve the above mentioned objectives including expression of insecticidal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral resistance and herbicide detoxification for herbicide resistance. Conclusion. Regardless of the concerns about commercialization of products from genetically modified (GM crops resistant to biotic stresses, it is observed that the cultivation area of these crops is growing fast each year. Considering this trend, it is expected that production and commercialization of GM crops resistant to biotic stresses will continue to increase but will also extend to production of crops resistant to abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salinity, etc. in a near future.

  19. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  20. Physiological limits to zinc biofortification of edible crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip John White

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available It has been estimated that almost one third of the world’s population lack sufficient Zn for adequate nutrition. This can be alleviated by increasing dietary Zn intakes through Zn-biofortification of edible crops. Biofortification strategies include the application of Zn-fertilisers or the development of crop genotypes that acquire more Zn from the soil and accumulate it in edible portions. Zinc concentrations in roots, leaves and stems can be increased through the application of Zn-fertilisers. Root Zn concentrations of up to 500-5000 mg kg-1 DM, and leaf Zn concentrations of up to 100-700 mg kg-1 dry matter (DM, can be achieved without loss of yield when Zn-fertilisers are applied to the soil. It is possible that greater Zn concentrations in non-woody shoot tissues can be attained using foliar Zn-fertilisers. By contrast, Zn concentrations in fruits, seeds and tubers are severely limited by low Zn mobility in the phloem and Zn concentrations higher than 30-100 mg kg-1 DM are rarely observed. However, genetically modified plants with improved abilities translocate Zn in the phloem might be used to biofortify these phloem-fed tissues. In addition, genetically modified plants with increased tolerance to high tissue Zn concentrations could be used to increase Zn concentrations in all edible produce and, thereby, increase dietary Zn intakes.

  1. Physiological limits to zinc biofortification of edible crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Philip J; Broadley, Martin R

    2011-01-01

    It has been estimated that one-third of the world's population lack sufficient Zn for adequate nutrition. This can be alleviated by increasing dietary Zn intakes through Zn biofortification of edible crops. Biofortification strategies include the application of Zn-fertilizers and the development of crop genotypes that acquire more Zn from the soil and accumulate it in edible portions. Zinc concentrations in roots, leaves, and stems can be increased through the application of Zn-fertilizers. Root Zn concentrations of up to 500-5000 mg kg(-1) dry matter (DM), and leaf Zn concentrations of up to 100-700 mg kg(-1) DM, can be achieved without loss of yield when Zn-fertilizers are applied to the soil. It is possible that greater Zn concentrations in non-woody shoot tissues can be achieved using foliar Zn-fertilizers. By contrast, Zn concentrations in fruits, seeds, and tubers are severely limited by low Zn mobility in the phloem and Zn concentrations higher than 30-100 mg kg(-1) DM are rarely observed. However, genetically modified plants with improved abilities to translocate Zn in the phloem might be used to biofortify these phloem-fed tissues. In addition, genetically modified plants with increased tolerance to high tissue Zn concentrations could be used to increase Zn concentrations in all edible produce and, thereby, increase dietary Zn intakes.

  2. 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.

  3. Mapping invasive woody species in coastal dunes in the Netherlands: a remote sensing approach using LIDAR and high-resolution aerial photographs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hantson, W.P.R.; Kooistra, L.; Slim, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Questions Does remote sensing improve classification of invasive woody species in dunes, useful for shrub management? Does additional height information and an object-based classifier increase woody species classification accuracy? Location The dunes of Vlieland, one of the Wadden Sea Islands, the

  4. Regional Comparative Advantage for Woody Biofuels Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy M. Young; Donald G. Hodges; Robert C. Abt; Andy J. Hartsell; James H. Perdue

    2009-01-01

    The economic availability of woody biomass for the southeastern United States is summarized in this final report for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Southeastern Sun Grant Center research contract R11-0515-016 as administered by the University of Tennessee. Georeferenced economic supply curves (marginal cost curves) for woody biomass producers’ for the 13...

  5. Modeling Woody Biomass Procurement for Bioenergy Production at the Atikokan Generating Station in Northwestern Ontario, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thakur Upadhyay

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Efficient procurement and utilization of woody biomass for bioenergy production requires a good understanding of biomass supply chains. In this paper, a dynamic optimization model has been developed and applied to estimate monthly supply and procurement costs of woody biomass required for the Atikokan Generating Station (AGS in northwestern Ontario, based on its monthly electricity production schedule. The decision variables in the model are monthly harvest levels of two types of woody biomass, forest harvest residues and unutilized biomass, from 19,315 forest depletion cells (each 1 km2 for a one year planning horizon. Sixteen scenarios are tested to examine the sensitivity of the cost minimization model to changing economic and technological parameters. Reduction in moisture content and improvement of conversion efficiency showed relatively higher reductions in monthly and total costs of woody biomass feedstock for the AGS. The results of this study help in understanding and designing decision support systems for optimal biomass supply chains under dynamic operational frameworks.

  6. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. French

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored

  7. Improvement of red pepper yield and soil environment by summer catch aquatic crops in greenhouses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, X. F.; Wang, L. Z.; Peng, J.; Wang, G. L.; Guo, X. S.; Wen, T. G.; Gu, D. L.; Wang, W. Z.; Wu, C. W.

    2016-08-01

    To investigate effects of the rotation of summer catch crops on remediation retrogressed soils in continuous cropping, a field experiment was conducted. Rice, water spinach, or cress were selected as summer catch crops; bare fallow during summer fallow was used as the control group. Results showed that aquatic crops grown in summer fallow period could effectively reduce soil bulk density and pH, facilitate soil nutrient release, and improve soil physical and chemical properties compared with those grown in fallow period. Paddy-upland rotation could improve soil microbial members and increase bacterial and actinomycete populations; by contrast, paddy-upland rotation could reduce fungal populations and enhance bacterium-to-fungus ratio. Paddy-upland rotation could also actively promote activities of soil enzymes, such as urease, phosphatase, invertase, and catalase. The proposed paddy-upland rotation significantly affected the growth of red pepper; the yield and quality of the grown red pepper were enhanced. Summer catch crops, such as rice, water spinach, and cress significantly increased pepper yield in the following growing season by 15.4%, 10.2% and 14.0%, respectively, compared with those grown in fallow treatment. Therefore, the proposed paddy-upland crop rotation could be a useful method to alleviate continuous cropping problems involved in cultivating red pepper in greenhouses.

  8. iPot: Improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Gobin, Anne; Curnel, Yannick; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Wellens, Joost; Tychon, Bernard; Cattoor, Nele; Cools, Romain

    2016-04-01

    Potato processors, traders and packers largely work with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels is important to improve the quantity and quality of the crop and reduce risks related to storage, packaging or processing. The use of geo-information by the sector is limited, notwithstanding the great benefits that this type of information may offer. At the same time, new sensor-based technologies continue to gain importance and farmers increasingly invest in these. The combination of geo-information and crop modelling might strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo), aims at providing the Belgian potato processing sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil), crop development and yield estimates, derived from a combination of satellite images and crop growth models. During the cropping season regular UAV flights (RGB, 3x3 cm) and high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size) were combined to elucidate crop phenology and performance at variety trials. UAV images were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness at 5m resolution. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) on the DMC images. Both DMC and UAV-based cover maps showed similar patterns, and helped detect different crop stages during the season. A wide spread field monitoring campaign with crop observations and measurements allowed for further calibration of the satellite image derived vegetation indices. Curve fitting techniques and phenological models were developed and compared with the vegetation indices during the season, both at trials and farmers' fields. Understanding and predicting crop phenology and canopy development is important for timely crop management and ultimately for yield estimates. An

  9. “Technology packages” for crop improvement using mutation induction and biotechnology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavi, U. [ARO-Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250 (Israel); Heslop-Harrison, J. S. [Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Spencer, M. M.; Lagoda, P. J.L. [International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)

    2009-05-15

    “Technology packages” in crop breeding may be defined as sets of various technologies used in synergy in order to achieve specific research goals. The tremendous advances in cell, molecular, atomic and even nano-technology afford scientists with powerful tools for exploring the Living Kingdom to the benefit of Human Kind. Mutation induction is undoubtedly one of these technologies, which has resulted in tremendous changes in the way genetics and derived genomics can be applied for crop improvement. Classical breeding approaches associated with agronomy and biotechnologies allow less than 2% of the population of industrialized countries to produce ample food to satisfy their national needs. The rapid expansion in science-based knowledge, relating to genetics, genomics, exploitation of biodiversity and induced mutations now has the potential to bridge the gap from research to application in agriculture in developing countries. In a timescale of decades some important changes could be efficiently implemented. In addition to the current goals of plant breeding new ones such as the following are emerging continuously: a demand for more meat in global diets - requiring serious increase of primary production; the demand for bioenergy crops other than just fuel woods mean that there is a new range of target plants for domestication and improvement where minimal or no classical breeding has been applied so far. When considering the major technological developments together with their potential in crop improvement for developing countries, there is a great need of clear and wise assessment of their usefulness and applicability. Various approaches such as DNA, markers, TILLING, high-throughput sequencing and reverse genetics are applicable to breeding programmes in developing countries. In the present chapter, all approaches considered appropriate are assessed on the basis of their advantages and constraints. (author)

  10. Using spectrotemporal indices to improve the fruit-tree crop classification accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, M. A.; Liao, R.; Brenning, A.

    2017-06-01

    This study assesses the potential of spectrotemporal indices derived from satellite image time series (SITS) to improve the classification accuracy of fruit-tree crops. Six major fruit-tree crop types in the Aconcagua Valley, Chile, were classified by applying various linear discriminant analysis (LDA) techniques on a Landsat-8 time series of nine images corresponding to the 2014-15 growing season. As features we not only used the complete spectral resolution of the SITS, but also all possible normalized difference indices (NDIs) that can be constructed from any two bands of the time series, a novel approach to derive features from SITS. Due to the high dimensionality of this "enhanced" feature set we used the lasso and ridge penalized variants of LDA (PLDA). Although classification accuracies yielded by the standard LDA applied on the full-band SITS were good (misclassification error rate, MER = 0.13), they were further improved by 23% (MER = 0.10) with ridge PLDA using the enhanced feature set. The most important bands to discriminate the crops of interest were mainly concentrated on the first two image dates of the time series, corresponding to the crops' greenup stage. Despite the high predictor weights provided by the red and near infrared bands, typically used to construct greenness spectral indices, other spectral regions were also found important for the discrimination, such as the shortwave infrared band at 2.11-2.19 μm, sensitive to foliar water changes. These findings support the usefulness of spectrotemporal indices in the context of SITS-based crop type classifications, which until now have been mainly constructed by the arithmetic combination of two bands of the same image date in order to derive greenness temporal profiles like those from the normalized difference vegetation index.

  11. Improvement of soil carbon sink by cover crops in olive orchards under semiarid conditions. Influence of the type of soil and weed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Márquez-García

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The olive tree is one of the most important crops in Spain, and the main one in the region of Andalusia. Most orchards are rain-fed, with high slopes where conventional tillage (CT is the primary soil management system used. These conditions lead to high erosion and a significant transport of organic carbon (OC. Moreover, soil tillage accelerates the oxidation of the OC. Cover crops (CC are the conservation agriculture (CA approach for woody crops. They are grown in-between tree rows to protect the soil against water erosion and their organic residues also help to increase the soil carbon (C sink. Soil and OC losses associated to the sediment were measured over four seasons (2003-07 using micro-plots for the collection of runoff and sediment in five experimental fields located in rain-fed olive orchards in Andalusia. Two soil management systems were followed, CC and CT. Furthermore, the changes in soil C in both systems were analyzed at a depth of 0-25 cm. CC reduced erosion by 80.5%, and also OC transport by 67.7%. In addition, Cover crops increased soil C sink by 12.3 Mg ha-1 year-1 of carbon dioxide (CO2 equivalent, with respect to CT. CC in rainfed olive orchards in a Mediterranean climate could be an environmental friendly and profitable system for reducing erosion and increasing the soil C sink. However, C fixing rate is not regular, being very high for the initial years after shifting from CT to CC and gradually decreasing over time.

  12. Climate resilient crops for improving global food security and safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhankher, Om Parkash; Foyer, Christine H

    2018-05-01

    Food security and the protection of the environment are urgent issues for global society, particularly with the uncertainties of climate change. Changing climate is predicted to have a wide range of negative impacts on plant physiology metabolism, soil fertility and carbon sequestration, microbial activity and diversity that will limit plant growth and productivity, and ultimately food production. Ensuring global food security and food safety will require an intensive research effort across the food chain, starting with crop production and the nutritional quality of the food products. Much uncertainty remains concerning the resilience of plants, soils, and associated microbes to climate change. Intensive efforts are currently underway to improve crop yields with lower input requirements and enhance the sustainability of yield through improved biotic and abiotic stress tolerance traits. In addition, significant efforts are focused on gaining a better understanding of the root/soil interface and associated microbiomes, as well as enhancing soil properties. © 2018 The Authors Plant, Cell & Environment Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Supply evaluation of a herbaceous and woody energy crop at three midwest regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    English, B.C.; Dillivan, K.D.; Ojo, M.A.

    1994-01-01

    While substantial research has been conducted on the argronomic issues of biomass production and on the processes of converting biofuel crops into energy, little work has been completed analyzing the economic and physical impacts of biofuel production on an agriculturally based region. Acres currently devoted to traditional crops will be replaced by biomass crops if such a conversion proves to be economically attractive. These shifts could have impacts on local and regional levels of farm income, current farmland market values, commodity prices received, and the demand for and prices of farm level inputs. This paper examines the economic and physical ramifications of introducing biomass production to three Midwest regions centered in the following counties; Cass County, North Dakota, Olmsted County, Minnesota, and Orange County, Indiana. Using a regional linear programming model that maximizes net returns to producers subject to several constraints, a supply curve for biomass is developed for each of the three regions. The model predicts that at a plant gate price of $26, $40, and $52 per dry ton, biomass begins to enter into production in the Cass, Olmsted, and Orange Regions respectively. Prices of $28, $44, and $54 per dry ton of biomass are sufficient to supply a quantity necessary to operate a power plant requiring 5,000 dry tons per day in Cass, Olmsted, and Orange regions respectively. In the Olmsted and Orange regions, biomass production results in fertilizer being applied, however, in the Cass Region a slight increase in fertilizer use corresponds to biomass production

  14. Effect of downed woody debris on small mammal anti-predator behavior.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinkleman, Travis, M.; Orrock, John, L.; Loeb, Susan, C.

    2011-10-01

    Anti-predator behavior can affect prey growth, reproduction, survival, and generate emergent effects in food webs. Small mammals often lower the cost of predation by altering their behavior in response to shrubs,but the importance of other microhabitat features, such as downed woody debris, for anti-predator behavior is unknown. We used givingup densities to quantify the degree to which downed woody debris alters perceived predation risk by small mammals in southeastern pineforests. We placed 14 foraging trays next to large downed woody debris,shrubs, and in open areas for 12 consecutive nights. Moon illumination, a common indicator of predation risk, led to a similar reduction in small mammal foraging in all three microhabitats (open, downed woody debris,and shrub). Small mammals perceived open microhabitats as riskier than shrub microhabitats, with downed woody debris habitats perceived as being of intermediate risk between shrub and open microhabitats. Despite the presumed benefits of the protective cover of downed woody debris, small mammals may perceive downed woody debris as a relatively risky foraging site in southeastern pine forests where the high diversity and abundance of rodent-eating snakes may provide a primary predatory threat.

  15. Woody Allen kimpus arhitektuuriga

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2000-01-01

    Woody Allen protesteerib oma uue lühifilmiga kavatsuse vastu ehitada 16-korruseline ärihoone tema New Yorgi kodu lähedale. W. Allen hindab New Yorgi ajaloolisi rajoone, mida näitab ka oma filmides

  16. Genomics-assisted breeding for boosting crop improvement in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lekha ePazhamala

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Pigeonpea is an important pulse crop grown predominantly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Although pigeonpea growing area has considerably increased, yield has remained stagnant for the last six decades mainly due to the exposure of the crop to various biotic and abiotic constraints. In addition, low level of genetic variability and limited genomic resources have been serious impediments to pigeonpea crop improvement through modern breeding approaches. In recent years, however, due to the availability of next generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies, the scenario has changed tremendously. The reduced sequencing costs resulting in the decoding of the pigeonpea genome has led to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, transcript sequences and comprehensive genetic maps. Mapping of some important traits including resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic disease, fertility restoration, determinacy with other agronomically important traits have paved the way for applying genomics-assisted breeding (GAB through marker assisted selection as well as genomic selection. This would lead to accelerate the development and improvement of both varieties and hybrids in pigeonpea. Particularly for hybrid breeding programme, mitochondrial genomes of cytoplasmic male sterile lines, maintainers and hybrids have also been sequenced to identify genes responsible for cytoplasmic male sterility. Furthermore, several diagnostic molecular markers have been developed to assess the purity of commercial hybrids. In summary, pigeonpea has become a genomic resources-rich crop and efforts have already been initiated to integrate these resources in pigeonpea breeding.

  17. Plant mutation breeding for crop improvement. V.2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This volume contains the proceedings of the final two sessions of the FAO/IAEA Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding for Crop Improvement, focussing on mutation breeding with particular objectives and the methodology of mutation breeding. The individual contributions are indexed separately. Although a wide variety of topics is included, the emphasis is on the use of (mainly gamma) radiation to induce economically useful mutants in cereals and legumes. The results of many conventional plant breeding programs are also presented. Refs, figs and tabs

  18. Soil Water Improvements with the Long Term Use of a Winter Rye Cover Crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basche, A.; Kaspar, T.; Archontoulis, S.; Jaynes, D. B.; Sauer, T. J.; Parkin, T.; Miguez, F.

    2015-12-01

    The Midwestern United States, a region that produces one-third of maize and one-quarter of soybeans globally, is projected to experience increasing rainfall variability with future climate change. One approach to mitigate climate impacts is to utilize crop and soil management practices that enhance soil water storage, reducing the risks of flooding and runoff as well as drought-induced crop water stress. While some research indicates that a winter cover crop in a maize-soybean rotation increases soil water, producers continue to be concerned that water use by cover crops will reduce water for a following cash crop. We analyzed continuous in-field soil moisture measurements over from 2008-2014 at a Central Iowa research site that has included a winter rye cover crop in a maize-soybean rotation for thirteen years. This period of study included years in the top third of wettest years on record (2008, 2010, 2014) as well as years in the bottom third of driest years (2012, 2013). We found the cover crop treatment to have significantly higher soil water storage from 2012-2014 when compared to the no cover crop treatment and in most years greater soil water content later in the growing season when a cover crop was present. We further found that the winter rye cover crop significantly increased the field capacity water content and plant available water compared to the no cover crop treatment. Finally, in 2012 and 2013, we measured maize and soybean biomass every 2-3 weeks and did not see treatment differences in crop growth, leaf area or nitrogen uptake. Final crop yields were not statistically different between the cover and no cover crop treatment in any of the years of this analysis. This research indicates that the long-term use of a winter rye cover crop can improve soil water dynamics without sacrificing cash crop growth.

  19. Re-orienting crop improvement for the changing climatic conditions of the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mba Chikelu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A 70% increase in food production is required over the next four decades to feed an ever-increasing population. The inherent difficulties in achieving this unprecedented increase are exacerbated by the yield-depressing consequences of climate change and variations and by the pressures on food supply by other competing demographic and socioeconomic demands. With the dwindling or stagnant agricultural land and water resources, the sought-after increases will therefore be attained mainly through the enhancement of crop productivity under eco-efficient crop production systems. ‘Smart’ crop varieties that yield more with fewer inputs will be pivotal to success. Plant breeding must be re-oriented in order to generate these ‘smart’ crop varieties. This paper highlights some of the scientific and technological tools that ought to be the staple of all breeding programs. We also make the case that plant breeding must be enabled by adequate policies, including those that spur innovation and investments. To arrest and reverse the worrisome trend of declining capacities for crop improvement, a new generation of plant breeders must also be trained. Equally important, winning partnerships, including public-private sector synergies, are needed for 21st century plant breeding to bear fruits. We also urge the adoption of the continuum approach to the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture as means to improved cohesion of the components of its value chain. Compellingly also, the National Agricultural Research and Extension System of developing countries require comprehensive overhauling and strengthening as crop improvement and other interventions require a sustained platform to be effective. The development of a suite of actionable policy interventions to be packaged for assisting countries in developing result-oriented breeding programs is also called for.

  20. Measuring Biomass and Carbon Stock in Resprouting Woody Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matula, Radim; Damborská, Lenka; Nečasová, Monika; Geršl, Milan; Šrámek, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Resprouting multi-stemmed woody plants form an important component of the woody vegetation in many ecosystems, but a clear methodology for reliable measurement of their size and quick, non-destructive estimation of their woody biomass and carbon stock is lacking. Our goal was to find a minimum number of sprouts, i.e., the most easily obtainable, and sprout parameters that should be measured for accurate sprout biomass and carbon stock estimates. Using data for 5 common temperate woody species, we modelled carbon stock and sprout biomass as a function of an increasing number of sprouts in an interaction with different sprout parameters. The mean basal diameter of only two to five of the thickest sprouts and the basal diameter and DBH of the thickest sprouts per stump proved to be accurate estimators for the total sprout biomass of the individual resprouters and the populations of resprouters, respectively. Carbon stock estimates were strongly correlated with biomass estimates, but relative carbon content varied among species. Our study demonstrated that the size of the resprouters can be easily measured, and their biomass and carbon stock estimated; therefore, resprouters can be simply incorporated into studies of woody vegetation. PMID:25719601

  1. Development of an applied black willow tree improvement program for biomass production in the south

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall J. Rousseau; Emile S. Gardiner; Theodor D. Leininger

    2012-01-01

    The development of rapidly growing biomass woody crops is imperative as the United States strives to meet renewable energy goals. The Department of Energy has indicated that biomass is a prime source for renewable energy for the southern United States. Black Willow (Salix nigra Marsh.) is a potential bioenergy/biofuels crop for dedicated short-...

  2. Transpirational drying and costs for transporting woody biomass - a preliminary review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce J. Stokes; Bryce J. McDonaStokes; Timothy P. McDonald; Tyrone Kelley

    1993-01-01

    High transport costs arc a factor to consider in the use of forest residues for fuel. Costs can be reduced by increasing haul capacities, reducing high moisture contents, and improving trucking efficiency. The literature for transpirational drying and the economics of hauling woody biomass is summarized here. Some additional, unpublished roundwood and chipdrying test...

  3. Crop scheduling improvements for rainfed agriculture in the high jungle of Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Meseth

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This work was aimed to improve the water management for agriculture by applying efficient crop schedules in Vilcabamba and similar areas of the high jungle, which can satisfy most of the water requirements with rainfed agriculture to maximize the crops yield. For this purpose, two field practices were carried out during the dry (September 2012 and wet season (February 2013 to measure rivers and canals flows with the velocity/area method; 19 soil samples were collected on-site and analyzed, presenting prevalent sandy loam and loam textures. Cropwat program was used to estimate crop water requirements and scheme irrigation requirements, resulting in a maximum flow capacity of 1.72 l s-1 in May, during the dry season. The flow capacity can be satisfied, since small ditches convey approximately 2 to 6 l s-1 on the same season. The research findings indicate that rainfed farming can be practised, yet an initial pre-irrigation needs to be applied, for crops should not be water stressed. However, if soil is not pre-irrigated the production can be affected, with vegetables and potato crop yields being reduced by 4.7% and 1.4% respectively. To minimize these effects, both crops are suggested to be sowed one month later, adapting their growth period to the rainy season.

  4. Expedient Prediction of the Fuel Properties of Carbonized Woody Biomass Based on Hue Angle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta Saito

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Woody biomass co-firing-based power generation can reduce CO2 emissions from pulverized coal boilers. Carbonization of woody biomass increases its calorific value and grindability, thereby improving the co-firing ratio. Carbonized biomass fuel properties depend on moisture, size and shape of feedstock, and carbonization conditions. To produce carbonized biomass with stable fuel properties, the carbonization conditions should be set according to the desired fuel properties. Therefore, we examined color changes accompanying woody biomass carbonization and proposed using them for rapid evaluation of fuel properties. Three types of woody biomasses were carbonized at a test facility with a capacity of 4 tons/day, and the fuel properties of the obtained materials were correlated with their color defined by the L*a*b* model. When fixed carbon, an important fuel property for carbonization, was 25 wt % or less, we observed a strong negative correlation, regardless of the tree species, between the hue angle, hab, and fixed carbon. The hab and fixed carbon were correlated even when the fixed carbon exceeded 25 wt %; however, this correlation was specific to the tree species. These results indicate that carbonized biomass fuel properties such as fixed carbon can be estimated rapidly and easily by measuring hab.

  5. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Woody encroachment in northern Great Plains grasslands: Perceptions, actions, and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Leis, Sherry A.

    2017-01-01

    The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the most problematic encroachers. Thirty-one survey respondents said that prescribed fire was used on the lands they manage, and 64% of these responses reported that controlling woody encroachment was a fire management objective. However, only 18% of survey respondents using prescribed fire were achieving their desired fire return interval. Most respondents reported using mechanical and/or chemical methods to control woody species. In contrast to evidence from the central and southern Great Plains, few survey respondents viewed grazing as affecting encroachment. Although the NGP public land managers we surveyed clearly recognize woody encroachment as a problem and are taking steps to address it, many feel that the rate of their management is not keeping pace with the rate of encroachment. Developing strategies for effective woody plant control in a variety of NGP management contexts requires filling ecological science gaps and overcoming societal barriers to using prescribed fire.

  7. Preliminary study on space mutagenesis of mutagenesis of three species of woody plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Chao; Yuan Cunquan; Li Yun; Xi Yang

    2010-01-01

    Dry seeds of three woody plants, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Acer mono and Robiniap pseudoacacia, were carried into space by the return satellite for mutation breeding. The seed vigor,leaf pigments of seedlings, MDA contents and growth volume were analyzed. Compared with the earth control, the seed vigor of three woody plants were extremely improved by space-induced mutation, the seed germination rate, planting and survival rate of seedlings were all higher than those of earth control, and the MDA contents of Xanthoceras sorbifolia and Acer mono were declined. The leaf pigments content of the trees were all lower than those of the control, specially Robinia pseudoacacia and Acer mono, which were both significantly different from their control at 0.01 levels. The growth volume of the mutation group were inhibited in the first year; however, from the second year, the growth of Xanthoceras sorbifolia and Acer mono were faster than those of control, indicating that the space mutation can promote the seed vigor and seedling resistance of three woody plants. (authors)

  8. Testing woody fuel consumption models for application in Australian southern eucalypt forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.J. Hollis; S. Matthews; Roger Ottmar; S.J. Prichard; S. Slijepcevic; N.D. Burrows; B. Ward; K.G. Tolhurst; W.R. Anderson; J S. Gould

    2010-01-01

    Five models for the consumption of coarse woody debris or woody fuels with a diameter larger than 0.6 cm were assessed for application in Australian southern eucalypt forest fires including: CONSUME models for (1) activity fuels, (2) natural western woody and (3) natural southern woody fuels, (4) the BURNUP model and (5) the recommendation by the Australian National...

  9. Woody biomass for bioenergy and biofuels in the United States -- a briefing paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric M. White

    2010-01-01

    Woody biomass can be used for the generation of heat, electricity, and biofuels. In many cases, the technology for converting woody biomass into energy has been established for decades, but because the price of woody biomass energy has not been competitive with traditional fossil fuels, bioenergy production from woody biomass has not been widely adopted. However,...

  10. Introgression of Physiological Traits for a Comprehensive Improvement of Drought Adaptation in Crop Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheshshayee M. Sreeman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Burgeoning population growth, industrial demand, and the predicted global climate change resulting in erratic monsoon rains are expected to severely limit fresh water availability for agriculture both in irrigated and rainfed ecosystems. In order to remain food and nutrient secure, agriculture research needs to focus on devising strategies to save water in irrigated conditions and to develop superior cultivars with improved water productivity to sustain yield under rainfed conditions. Recent opinions accruing in the scientific literature strongly favor the adoption of a “trait based” crop improvement approach for increasing water productivity. Traits associated with maintenance of positive tissue turgor and maintenance of increased carbon assimilation are regarded as most relevant to improve crop growth rates under water limiting conditions and to enhance water productivity. The advent of several water saving agronomic practices notwithstanding, a genetic enhancement strategy of introgressing distinct physiological, morphological, and cellular mechanisms on to a single elite genetic background is essential for achieving a comprehensive improvement in drought adaptation in crop plants. The significant progress made in genomics, though would provide the necessary impetus, a clear understanding of the “traits” to be introgressed is the most essential need of the hour. Water uptake by a better root architecture, water conservation by preventing unproductive transpiration are crucial for maintaining positive tissue water relations. Improved carbon assimilation associated with carboxylation capacity and mesophyll conductance is important in sustaining crop growth rates under water limited conditions. Besides these major traits, we summarize the available information in literature on classifying various drought adaptive traits. We provide evidences that Water-Use Efficiency when introgressed with moderately higher transpiration, would

  11. Controlling coarse woody debris inventory quality: taper and relative size methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.W. Woodall; J.A. Westfall

    2008-01-01

    Accurately measuring the dimensions of coarse woody debris (CWD) is critical for ensuring the quality of CWD estimates and, hence, for accurately estimating forest ecosystem attributes (e.g., CWD carbon stocks). To improve the quality of CWD dimensional measurements, the distribution of taper (ratio of change in diameter and length) and relative size (RS; ratio of...

  12. Bioenergy crop models: Descriptions, data requirements and future challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nair, S. Surendran [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Kang, Shujiang [ORNL; Zhang, Xuesong [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Miguez, Fernando [Iowa State University; Izaurralde, Dr. R. Cesar [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Post, Wilfred M [ORNL; Dietze, Michael [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Lynd, L. [Dartmouth College; Wullschleger, Stan D [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Field studies that address the production of lignocellulosic biomass as a source of renewable energy provide critical data for the development of bioenergy crop models. A literature survey revealed that 14 models have been used for simulating bioenergy crops including herbaceous and woody bioenergy crops, and for crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) crops. These models simulate field-scale production of biomass for switchgrass (ALMANAC, EPIC, and Agro-BGC), miscanthus (MISCANFOR, MISCANMOD, and WIMOVAC), sugarcane (APSIM, AUSCANE, and CANEGRO), and poplar and willow (SECRETS and 3PG). Two models are adaptations of dynamic global vegetation models and simulate biomass yields of miscanthus and sugarcane at regional scales (Agro-IBIS and LPJmL). Although it lacks the complexity of other bioenergy crop models, the environmental productivity index (EPI) is the only model used to estimate biomass production of CAM (Agave and Opuntia) plants. Except for the EPI model, all models include representations of leaf area dynamics, phenology, radiation interception and utilization, biomass production, and partitioning of biomass to roots and shoots. A few models simulate soil water, nutrient, and carbon cycle dynamics, making them especially useful for assessing the environmental consequences (e.g., erosion and nutrient losses) associated with the large-scale deployment of bioenergy crops. The rapid increase in use of models for energy crop simulation is encouraging; however, detailed information on the influence of climate, soils, and crop management practices on biomass production is scarce. Thus considerable work remains regarding the parameterization and validation of process-based models for bioenergy crops; generation and distribution of high-quality field data for model development and validation; and implementation of an integrated framework for efficient, high-resolution simulations of biomass production for use in planning sustainable bioenergy systems.

  13. Vegetation barrier and tillage effects on runoff and sediment in an alley crop system on a Luvisol in Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spaan, W.P.; Sikking, A.F.S.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of vegetation barriers and tillage on runoff and soil loss were evaluated in an alley crop system at a research station in central Burkina Faso. On a 2% slope of a sandy loam various local species (grasses, woody species and a succulent) were planted as conservation barriers in order to

  14. Grand challenges for crop science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crop science is a highly integrative science using the disciplines of conventional plant breeding, transgenic crop improvement, plant physiology, and cropping system sciences to develop improved varieties of agronomic, turf, and forage crops to produce feed, food, fuel, and fiber for our world's gro...

  15. Improving Resilience of Northern Field Crop Systems Using Inter-Seeded Red Clover: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Deen

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In light of the environmental challenges ahead, resilience of the most abundant field crop production systems must be improved to guarantee yield stability with more efficient use of nitrogen inputs, soil and water resources. Along with genetic and agronomic innovations, diversification of northern agro-ecosystems using inter-seeded legumes provides further opportunities to improve land management practices that sustain crop yields and their resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses. Benefits of legume cover crops have been known for decades and red clover (Trifolium pratense is one of the most common and beneficial when frost-seeded under winter wheat in advance of maize in a rotation. However, its use has been declining mostly due to the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, concerns over competition with the main crop and the inability to fully capture red clover benefits due to difficulties in the persistence of uniform stands. In this manuscript, we first review the environmental, agronomic, rotational and economical benefits associated with inter-seeded red clover. Red clover adaptation to a wide array of common wheat-based rotations, its potential to mitigate the effects of land degradation in a changing climate and its integration into sustainable food production systems are discussed. We then identify areas of research with significant potential to impact cropping system profitability and sustainability.

  16. Water-based woody biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amidon, Thomas E; Liu, Shijie

    2009-01-01

    The conversion of biomass into chemicals and energy is essential in order to sustain our present way of life. Fossil fuels are currently the predominant energy source, but fossil deposits are limited and not renewable. Biomass is a reliable potential source of materials, chemicals and energy that can be replenished to keep pace with our needs. A biorefinery is a concept for the collection of processes used to convert biomass into materials, chemicals and energy. The biorefinery is a "catch and release" method for using carbon that is beneficial to both the environment and the economy. In this study, we discuss three elements of a wood-based biorefinery, as proposed by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF): hot-water extraction, hydrolysis, and membrane separation/concentration. Hemicelluloses are the most easily separable main component of woody biomass and thus form the bulk of the extracts obtained by hot-water extraction of woody biomass. Hot-water extraction is an important step in the processes of woody biomass and product generation, replacing alternative costly pre-treatment methods. The hydrolysis of hemicelluloses produces 5-carbon sugars (mainly xylose), 6-carbon sugars (mainly glucose and mannose), and acetic acid. The use of nano-filtration membranes is an efficient technology that can be employed to fractionate hot-water extracts and wood hydrolysate. The residual solid mass after hot-water extraction has a higher energy content and contains fewer easily degradable components. This allows for more efficient subsequent processing to convert cellulose and lignin into conventional products.

  17. Epi-fingerprinting and epi-interventions for improved crop production and food quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLOS Marcelino Rodriguez Lopez

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing crop production at a time of rapid climate change represents the greatest challenge facing contemporary agricultural research. Our understanding of the genetic control of yield derives from controlled field experiments designed to minimise environmental variance. In spite of these efforts there is substantial residual variability among plants attributable to Genotype x Environment (GxE interactions. Recent advances in the field of epigenetics have revealed a plethora of gene control mechanisms that could account for much of this unassigned variation. These systems act as a regulatory interface between the perception of the environment and associated alterations in gene expression. Direct intervention of epigenetic control systems hold the enticing promise of creating new sources of variability that could enhance crop performance. Equally, understanding the relationship between various epigenetic states and responses of the crop to specific aspects of the growing environment (epigenetic fingerprinting could allow for a more tailored approach to plant agronomy. In this review, we explore the many ways in which epigenetic interventions and epigenetic fingerprinting can be deployed for the improvement of crop production and quality.

  18. Plant breeding: Induced mutation technology for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novak, F.J.; Brunner, H.

    1992-01-01

    Plant breeding requires genetic variation of useful traits for crop improvement, but the desired variation is often lacking. Mutagenic agents, such as radiation and certain chemicals, can be used to induce mutations and generate genetic variations from which desirable mutants may be selected. After a brief summary of the methods currently employed in plant breeding, especially those inducing genetic engineering, this article describes the activities of the Plant Breeding Unit of the IAEA Laboratories at Seibersdorf, summarizing the research and development areas currently being pursued. The banana plant is chosen to exemplify the Laboratories' research

  19. Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theeba Manickam

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit. Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%, in a pot set up that was carried out for two cropping seasons. Positive and significant crop yield effects were observed for both soils, biochars and crops. The yield effects varied with biochar type and dosage, with soil type and over the cropping seasons. The yield increases observed for the sandy soil were tentatively attributed to significant increases in plant-available water contents (from 4%–5% to 7%–8%. The yield effects in the acid sulfate soil were likely a consequence of a combination of (i alleviation of plant root stress by aluminum (Ca/Al molar ratios significantly increased, from around 1 to 3–5 and (ii increases in CEC. The agricultural benefits of rice husk biochar application to Malaysian soils holds promise for its future use.

  20. Functions and Application of the AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Family in Crop Improvement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhao-Shi Xu; Ming Chen; Lian-Cheng Li; You-Zhi Ma

    2011-01-01

    Plants have acquired sophisticated stress response systems to adapt to changing environments. It is important to understand plants' stress response mechanisms in the effort to improve crop productivity under stressful conditions. The AP2/ERF transcription factors are known to regulate diverse processes of plant development and stress responses.In this study, the molecular characteristics and biological functions of AP2/ERFs in a variety of plant species were analyzed. AP2/ERFs,especially those in DREB and ERF subfamilies, are ideal candidates for crop improvement because their overexpression enhances tolerances to drought, salt, freezing, as well as resistances to multiple diseases in the transgenic plants. The comprehensive analysis of physiological functions is useful in elucidating the biological roles of AP2/ERF family genes in gene interaction, pathway regulation, and defense response under stress environments, which should provide new opportunities for the crop tolerance engineering.

  1. 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.

  2. The role of radiation induced mutations in crop Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Souframanien, J.

    2017-01-01

    Sudden, heritable changes in the genetic material, DNA, are known as mutations. Selection of naturally occurring mutations in wild, ancestral species helped humans in the domestication and further improvement of today's crop plants. Gregor Mendel in 1865 used several such natural mutants in his experiments with garden pea to formulate the laws of inheritance. The term mutation itself was used for the first time by Hugo de Vries in 1901 in his mutation theory. Plant breeding based on the science of genetics, as practiced over the past 100 years, exploited the available genetic variability in the primary gene pool of crop plants, and sometimes in related species. Primarily, simple selection of desirable offspring and cross breeding were the earlier methods of breeding and this utilized the occurrence of spontaneous mutations. In nature, occurrence of natural variability in the form of spontaneous mutations is extremely low (about 10 -6 ), which can be enhanced several fold (∼10 -3 ) by using ionizing radiations or chemical mutagens

  3. Forest structure and downed woody debris in boreal, temperate, and tropical forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, William A; González, Grizelle; Hudak, Andrew T; Hollingsworth, Teresa Nettleton; Hollingsworth, Jamie

    2008-12-01

    Forest fragmentation affects the heterogeneity of accumulated fuels by increasing the diversity of forest types and by increasing forest edges. This heterogeneity has implications in how we manage fuels, fire, and forests. Understanding the relative importance of fragmentation on woody biomass within a single climatic regime, and along climatic gradients, will improve our ability to manage forest fuels and predict fire behavior. In this study we assessed forest fuel characteristics in stands of differing moisture, i.e., dry and moist forests, structure, i.e., open canopy (typically younger) vs. closed canopy (typically older) stands, and size, i.e., small (10-14 ha), medium (33 to 60 ha), and large (100-240 ha) along a climatic gradient of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests. We measured duff, litter, fine and coarse woody debris, standing dead, and live biomass in a series of plots along a transect from outside the forest edge to the fragment interior. The goal was to determine how forest structure and fuel characteristics varied along this transect and whether this variation differed with temperature, moisture, structure, and fragment size. We found nonlinear relationships of coarse woody debris, fine woody debris, standing dead and live tree biomass with mean annual median temperature. Biomass for these variables was greatest in temperate sites. Forest floor fuels (duff and litter) had a linear relationship with temperature and biomass was greatest in boreal sites. In a five-way multivariate analysis of variance we found that temperature, moisture, and age/structure had significant effects on forest floor fuels, downed woody debris, and live tree biomass. Fragment size had an effect on forest floor fuels and live tree biomass. Distance from forest edge had significant effects for only a few subgroups sampled. With some exceptions edges were not distinguishable from interiors in terms of fuels.

  4. Spatial vegetation patterns and neighborhood competition among woody plants in an East African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohn, Justin; Augustine, David J; Hanan, Niall P; Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh

    2017-02-01

    The majority of research on savanna vegetation dynamics has focused on the coexistence of woody and herbaceous vegetation. Interactions among woody plants in savannas are relatively poorly understood. We present data from a 10-yr longitudinal study of spatially explicit growth patterns of woody vegetation in an East African savanna following exclusion of large herbivores and in the absence of fire. We examined plant spatial patterns and quantified the degree of competition among woody individuals. Woody plants in this semiarid savanna exhibit strongly clumped spatial distributions at scales of 1-5 m. However, analysis of woody plant growth rates relative to their conspecific and heterospecific neighbors revealed evidence for strong competitive interactions at neighborhood scales of up to 5 m for most woody plant species. Thus, woody plants were aggregated in clumps despite significantly decreased growth rates in close proximity to neighbors, indicating that the spatial distribution of woody plants in this region depends on dispersal and establishment processes rather than on competitive, density-dependent mortality. However, our documentation of suppressive effects of woody plants on neighbors also suggests a potentially important role for tree-tree competition in controlling vegetation structure and indicates that the balanced-competition hypothesis may contribute to well-known patterns in maximum tree cover across rainfall gradients in Africa. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Natural Ecosystem Surrounding a Conventional Banana Crop Improves Plant Health and Fruit Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence P. Castelan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural ecosystems near agricultural landscapes may provide rich environments for growing crops. However, the effect of a natural ecosystem on crop health and fruit quality is poorly understood. In the present study, it was investigated whether the presence of a natural ecosystem surrounding a crop area influences banana plant health and fruit postharvest behavior. Plants from two conventional banana crop areas with identical planting time and cultural practices were used; the only difference between banana crop areas is that one area was surrounded by a natural forest (Atlantic forest fragment (Near-NF, while the other area was inserted at the center of a conventional banana crop (Distant-NF. Results showed that bananas harvested from Near-NF showed higher greenlife and a more homogeneous profile during ripening compared to fruits harvested from Distant-NF. Differences in quality parameters including greenlife, carbohydrate profile, and pulp firmness between fruits harvested from Near-NF and Distant-NF are explained, at least partly, by differences in the balance of plant growth regulators (indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid in bananas during ripening. Furthermore, plants from Near-NF showed a lower severity index of black leaf streak disease (BLSD and higher levels of phenolic compounds in leaves compared to plants from Distant-NF. Together, the results provide additional evidence on how the maintenance of natural ecosystems near conventional crop areas could be a promising tool to improve plant health and fruit quality.

  6. Improving crop water use efficiency using carbon isotope discrimination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serraj, R.

    2006-01-01

    Water scarcity, drought and salinity are among the most important environmental constraints challenging crop productivity in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, especially the rain-fed production systems. The current challenge is to enhance food security in water-limited and/or salt-affected areas for the benefit of resource-poor farmers in developing countries. There is also an increasing need that water use in agriculture should focus on improvement in the management of existing water resources and enhancing crop water productivity. The method based on carbon-13 discrimination in plant tissues has a potentially important role in the selection and breeding of some crop species for increased water use efficiency in some specific environments. Under various water-limited environments, low delta in the plants, indicating low carbon isotope discrimination has been generally associated with high transpiration efficiency (TE). In contrast, for well-watered environments many positive genotypic correlations have been reported between delta and grain yield indicating potential value in selecting for greater delta in these environments. Few studies have been reported on the impact of selection for delta on adaptation and grain yield in saline environments. Studies of the impact of genetic selection for greater and lower delta are currently coordinated by the Soil and water Management and Crop Nutrition Section (SWMCN) of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division. A Coordinated Research Project (CRP) is currently on-going on the Selection for Greater Agronomic Water-Use Efficiency in Wheat and Rice using Carbon Isotope Discrimination (D1-20 08). The overall objective of this project is to contribute to increasing the agronomic water-use efficiency of wheat and rice production, where agronomic water-use efficiency is defined as grain yield/total water use including both transpiration and evaporation. The CRP is also aiming at increasing wheat productivity under drought and rice

  7. On the Assessment of the CO2 Mitigation Potential of Woody Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Codina Gironès

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Woody biomass, a renewable energy resource, accumulates solar energy in form of carbon hydrates produced from atmospheric CO2 and H2O. It is, therefore, a means of CO2 mitigation for society as long as the biogenic carbon released to the atmosphere when delivering its energy content by oxidation can be accumulated again during growth of new woody biomass. Even when considering the complete life cycle, usually, only a small amount of fossil CO2 is emitted. However, woody biomass availability is limited by land requirement and, therefore, it is important to maximize its CO2 mitigation potential in the energy system. In this study, we consider woody biomass not only as a source of renewable energy but also as a source of carbon for seasonal storage of solar electricity. A first analysis is carried out based on the mitigation effect of woody biomass usage pathways, which is the avoided fossil CO2 emissions obtained by using one unit of woody biomass to provide energy services, as alternative to fossil fuels. Results show that woody biomass usage pathways can achieve up to 9.55 times the mitigation effect obtained through combustion of woody biomass, which is taken as a reference. Applying energy system modeling and multi-objective optimization techniques, the role of woody biomass technological choices in the energy transition is then analyzed at a country scale. The analysis is applied to Switzerland, demonstrating that the use of woody biomass in gasification–methanation systems, coupled with electrolysers and combined with an intensive deployment of PV panels and efficient technologies, could reduce the natural gas imports to zero. Electrolysers are used to boost synthetic natural gas production by hydrogen injection into the methanation reaction. The hydrogen used is produced when there is excess of solar electricity. The efficient technologies, such as heat pumps and battery electric vehicles, allow increasing the overall efficiency of the

  8. Evaluation of biomass quality of selected woody species depending on the soil enrichment practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolarski, Mariusz J.; Krzyżaniak, Michał; Załuski, Dariusz; Niksa, Dariusz

    2018-01-01

    Perennial energy crops are a source of the bio-mass used to generate energy. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical and thermophysical parameters of short rotation woody crops (black locust, poplar and willow), depending on soil enrichment practice (mineral fertilisation, lignin and mycorrhiza), in three- and four-year harvest cycles. In the study, the thermophysical properties and elemental composition of the biomass were determined. All analyses were performed in trip-licate according to the standards. The fresh black locust biomass had the lowest moisture content, which resulted in the best lower heating value (10.16 MJ kg-1, on average) in the four-year harvest cycle. The poplar biomass had the greatest higher heating value, fixed carbon, carbon and ash content, the highest concentrations of which were found in the biomass in which lignin was applied (2.00% d.m.). On the other hand, the willow biomass contained the lowest concentrations of ash and fixed carbon. Soil enrichment significantly differentiated the quality parameters of black locust, poplar and willow. This effect is of particular importance to those who grow and use biomass as a fuel.

  9. Evaluating ecohydrological theories of woody root distribution in the Kalahari.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abinash Bhattachan

    Full Text Available The contribution of savannas to global carbon storage is poorly understood, in part due to lack of knowledge of the amount of belowground biomass. In these ecosystems, the coexistence of woody and herbaceous life forms is often explained on the basis of belowground interactions among roots. However, the distribution of root biomass in savannas has seldom been investigated, and the dependence of root biomass on rainfall regime remains unclear, particularly for woody plants. Here we investigate patterns of belowground woody biomass along a rainfall gradient in the Kalahari of southern Africa, a region with consistent sandy soils. We test the hypotheses that (1 the root depth increases with mean annual precipitation (root optimality and plant hydrotropism hypothesis, and (2 the root-to-shoot ratio increases with decreasing mean annual rainfall (functional equilibrium hypothesis. Both hypotheses have been previously assessed for herbaceous vegetation using global root data sets. Our data do not support these hypotheses for the case of woody plants in savannas. We find that in the Kalahari, the root profiles of woody plants do not become deeper with increasing mean annual precipitation, whereas the root-to-shoot ratios decrease along a gradient of increasing aridity.

  10. An improved UHPLC-UV method for separation and quantification of carotenoids in vegetable crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Megan M; Mein, Jonathan R; Chaudhuri, Swapan K; Constant, Howard L

    2014-12-15

    Carotenoid identification and quantitation is critical for the development of improved nutrition plant varieties. Industrial analysis of carotenoids is typically carried out on multiple crops with potentially thousands of samples per crop, placing critical needs on speed and broad utility of the analytical methods. Current chromatographic methods for carotenoid analysis have had limited industrial application due to their low throughput, requiring up to 60 min for complete separation of all compounds. We have developed an improved UHPLC-UV method that resolves all major carotenoids found in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica), carrot (Daucus carota), corn (Zea mays), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The chromatographic method is completed in 13.5 min allowing for the resolution of the 11 carotenoids of interest, including the structural isomers lutein/zeaxanthin and α-/β-carotene. Additional minor carotenoids have also been separated and identified with this method, demonstrating the utility of this method across major commercial food crops. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Utilization of ionizing radiations and radioisotopes in plant breeding and crop improvement in Arab countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abo-Hegazi, A.M.T.

    1983-01-01

    A review for research work in the field of utilizing ionizing radiations and radioisotopes in plant breeding and crop improvement conducted in Arab countries has been summerized and discussed in the light of some economic features of the crop or the plant on national or regional (arab) level. Among the 241 articles in the above mentioned fields reviewed, around 230 articles were conducted in Egypt, 6 in Iraq, 2 in Algeria and 2 in Sudan. Some of the articles dealing with more than one crop and/or more than one type of radiation or radioisotope

  12. Genetically modified crops: the fastest adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khush Gurdev S

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The major scientific advances of the last century featured the identification of the structure of DNA, the development of molecular biology and the technology to exploit these advances. These breakthroughs gave us new tools for crop improvement, including molecular marker-aided selection (MAS and genetic modification (GM. MAS improves the efficiency of breeding programs, and GM allows us to accomplish breeding objectives not possible through conventional breeding approaches. MAS is not controversial and is now routinely used in crop improvement programs. However, the international debate about the application of genetic manipulation to crop improvement has slowed the adoption of GM crops in developing as well as in European countries. Since GM crops were first introduced to global agriculture in 1996, Clive James has published annual reports on the global status of commercialized GM crops as well as special reports on individual GM crops for The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA. His 34th report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/ GM crops: 2011 [1] is essential reading for those who are concerned about world food security.

  13. Woody-Herbaceous Species Coexistence in Mulga Hillslopes: Modelling Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltanjalili, M. J.; Saco, P. M.; Willgoose, G. R.

    2016-12-01

    The fundamental processes underlying the coexistence of woody and herbaceous species in arid and semi-arid areas have been a topic of intense research during the last few decades. Experimental and modelling studies have both supported and disputed alternative hypotheses explaining this phenomenon. Vegetation models including the key processes that drive coexistence can be used to understand vegetation pattern dynamics and structure under current climate conditions, and to predict changes under future conditions. Here we present work done towards linking the observations to modelling. The model captures woody-herbaceous coexistence along a rainfall gradient characteristic of typical conditions on Mulga ecosystems in Australia. The dynamic vegetation model simulates the spatial dynamics of overland flow, soil moisture and vegetation growth of two species. It incorporates key mechanisms for coexistence and pattern formation, including facilitation by evaporation reduction through shading, and infiltration feedbacks, local and non-local seed dispersal, competition for water uptake. Model outcomes, obtained including diflerent mechanisms, are qualitatively compared to typical vegetation cover patterns in the Australian Mulga bioregion where bush fire is very infrequent and the fate of vegetation cover is mostly determined by intra- and interspecies interactions. Through these comparisons, and by drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the dynamics of such ecosystems, we identify main mechanisms that need an improved representation in the dynamic vegetation models. We show that a realistic parameterization of the model leads to results which are aligned with the observations reported in the literature. At the lower end of the rainfall gradient woody species coexist with herbaceous species within a sparse banded pattern, while at higher rainfall woody species tend to dominate the landscape.

  14. Strategies for Improving Enterprise Standardization Management of Tropical Crop Machinery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ There are two categories of tropical crop machinery. One comprises operation machinery that is used for planting, managing and harvesting tropical crops, while the other comprises process machinery for processing tropical crops. Tropical crop machinery is distinguished from other agricultural machinery by the special crops that such machinery cultivates and processes.

  15. In vitro techniques for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-01-01

    The film refers to principles of plant tissue culture - laboratory requirements, media preparation, explant establishment and subculturing method. In vitro growth and development of crop plants are demonstrate and the application of in vitro techniques in plant breeding is discussed. The second part of the film shows the application of cell, tissue and organ culture in plants. Micropropagation and virus eradication are important technologies for the improvement of vegetatively propagated plants; zygotic embryo rescue techniques are used for distant hybridization, especially in cereals. Plant biotechnology offers a potent means for the in vitro generation of enhanced genetic variability - somaclonal and mutagen induced variation. Principles of the isolation and culture of plant protoplasts are explained and their potential for somatic hybridization in higher plants is demonstrated. Haploids are valuable to accelerate breeding cycles of plants. Plant biotechnology is described as an important complementary tool to conventional plant breeding methods

  16. SOIL MOISTURE SPACE-TIME ANALYSIS TO SUPPORT IMPROVED CROP MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Montoani Silva

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the water content in the soil profile is essential for an efficient management of crop growth and development. This work aimed to use geostatistical techniques in a spatio-temporal study of soil moisture in an Oxisol in order to provide that information for improved crop management. Data were collected in a coffee crop area at São Roque de Minas, in the upper São Francisco River basin, MG state, Brazil. The soil moisture was measured with a multi-sensor capacitance (MCP probe at 10-, 20-, 30-, 40-, 60- and 100-cm depths between March and December, 2010. After adjusting the spherical semivariogram model using ordinary least squares, best model, the values were interpolated by kriging in order to have a continuous surface relating depth x time (CSDT and the soil water availability to plant (SWAP. The results allowed additional insight on the dynamics of soil water and its availability to plant, and pointed to the effects of climate on the soil water content. These results also allowed identifying when and where there was greater water consumption by the plants, and the soil layers where water was available and potentially explored by the plant root system.

  17. Will breeding for nitrogen use efficient crops lead to nitrogen use efficient cropping systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dresbøll, Dorte Bodin; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian

    2014-01-01

    The benefits of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops are typically studied through the performance of the individual crop. However, in order to increase yields in a sustainable way, improving NUE of the cropping systems must be the aim. We did a model simulation study to investigate h...

  18. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet, François-Xavier; Garcia, Rayssa A; Macedo, Leonardo L P; Albuquerque, Erika V S; Silva, Maria C M; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria F

    2017-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi)-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil ( Anthonomus grandis ), we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain-dsRNA binding domain) combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  19. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François-Xavier Gillet

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis, we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain—dsRNA binding domain combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  20. Multiple Scales of Control on the Structure and Spatial Distribution of Woody Vegetation in African Savanna Watersheds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Vaughn

    Full Text Available Factors controlling savanna woody vegetation structure vary at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and as a consequence, unraveling their combined effects has proven to be a classic challenge in savanna ecology. We used airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging to map three-dimensional woody vegetation structure throughout four savanna watersheds, each contrasting in geologic substrate and climate, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. By comparison of the four watersheds, we found that geologic substrate had a stronger effect than climate in determining watershed-scale differences in vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density. Generalized Linear Models were used to assess the spatial distribution of woody vegetation structural properties, including cover, height and crown density, in relation to mapped hydrologic, topographic and fire history traits. For each substrate and climate combination, models incorporating topography, hydrology and fire history explained up to 30% of the remaining variation in woody canopy structure, but inclusion of a spatial autocovariate term further improved model performance. Both crown density and the cover of shorter woody canopies were determined more by unknown factors likely to be changing on smaller spatial scales, such as soil texture, herbivore abundance or fire behavior, than by our mapped regional-scale changes in topography and hydrology. We also detected patterns in spatial covariance at distances up to 50-450 m, depending on watershed and structural metric. Our results suggest that large-scale environmental factors play a smaller role than is often attributed to them in determining woody vegetation structure in southern African savannas. This highlights the need for more spatially-explicit, wide-area analyses using high resolution remote sensing techniques.

  1. Importance of Coarse Woody Debris to Avian Communities in Loblolly Pine Forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lohr, S.M.; Gauthreaux, S.A.; Kilgo, J.C.

    2001-06-14

    Investigates the importance of standing and down coarse woody debris to bird communities in loblolly pine forests, researchers compared breeding and nonbreeding responses of birds among two coarse woody debris removal and control treatments. Quantification of vegetation layers to determine their effects on the experimental outcome coarse woody debris removal had no effect on the nonbreeding bird community. Most breeding and nonbreeding species used habitats with sparse midstory and well-developed understory, where as sparse canopy cover and dense midstory were important to some nonbreeding species. Snag and down coarse woody debris practices that maintain a dense understory, sparse midstory and canopy will create favorable breeding habitat.

  2. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabe, Shiori; Yamasaki, Masanori; Ebana, Kaworu; Hayashi, Takeshi; Iwata, Hiroyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS), which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an "island model" inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the potential of genomic

  3. Island-Model Genomic Selection for Long-Term Genetic Improvement of Autogamous Crops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiori Yabe

    Full Text Available Acceleration of genetic improvement of autogamous crops such as wheat and rice is necessary to increase cereal production in response to the global food crisis. Population and pedigree methods of breeding, which are based on inbred line selection, are used commonly in the genetic improvement of autogamous crops. These methods, however, produce a few novel combinations of genes in a breeding population. Recurrent selection promotes recombination among genes and produces novel combinations of genes in a breeding population, but it requires inaccurate single-plant evaluation for selection. Genomic selection (GS, which can predict genetic potential of individuals based on their marker genotype, might have high reliability of single-plant evaluation and might be effective in recurrent selection. To evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection with GS, we conducted simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars. Additionally, we introduced the concept of an "island model" inspired by evolutionary algorithms that might be useful to maintain genetic variation through the breeding process. We conducted GS simulations using real marker genotype data of rice cultivars to evaluate the efficiency of recurrent selection and the island model in an autogamous species. Results demonstrated the importance of producing novel combinations of genes through recurrent selection. An initial population derived from admixture of multiple bi-parental crosses showed larger genetic gains than a population derived from a single bi-parental cross in whole cycles, suggesting the importance of genetic variation in an initial population. The island-model GS better maintained genetic improvement in later generations than the other GS methods, suggesting that the island-model GS can utilize genetic variation in breeding and can retain alleles with small effects in the breeding population. The island-model GS will become a new breeding method that enhances the

  4. Nuclear agriculture and biotechnology: integrated approaches for crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suprasanna, P.; Venugopalan, V.

    2017-01-01

    Use of radiation and radioisotopes in agriculture is one of the most important fields of peaceful applications of atomic energy for societal benefit. They are used to induce genetic variability in crop plants to develop improved mutant varieties, to manage insect pests, to monitor fate and persistence of pesticides, to study fertilizer use efficiency and plant micronutrient uptake and also to preserve agricultural produce. So far, BARC has developed and released 42 Trombay mutant varieties in oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean, sunflower), pulses (pigeonpea, blackgram, greengram, cowpea), rice and jute for commercial cultivation across the nation. Mutant characterization has been benefitted by genomics approaches and availability of crop genome sequencing. In this regard, studies are underway to utilize mutant germplasm for molecular characterization and understanding trait modification. The nuclear technologies have benefited the farmers, traders and end-users and will continue to play a significant role in addressing food and nutritional security. In this presentation, an overview will be given on the activities of the NABTD in the field of nuclear agriculture and biotechnology

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Woody debris dynamics in Interior West forests and woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    John D. Shaw; James Long; Raffaella Marzano; Matteo Garbarino

    2012-01-01

    Managers are interested in the dynamics of down woody material because of its role as a fuel component, a feature of wildlife habitat, a carbon pool, and other characteristics. We analyzed nearly 9,000 plots from the Interior West, spanning the range from sparse juniper and mesquite woodland to dense spruce-fir forests, in order to characterize down woody material as...

  8. Assessing Woody Vegetation Trends in Sahelian Drylands Using MODIS Based Seasonal Metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Martin; Hiernaux, Pierre; Rasmussen, Kjeld; Mbow, Cheikh; Kergoat, Laurent; Tagesson, Torbern; Ibrahim, Yahaya Z.; Wele, Abdoulaye; Tucker, Compton J.; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-01-01

    Woody plants play a major role for the resilience of drylands and in peoples' livelihoods. However, due to their scattered distribution, quantifying and monitoring woody cover over space and time is challenging. We develop a phenology driven model and train/validate MODIS (MCD43A4, 500m) derived metrics with 178 ground observations from Niger, Senegal and Mali to estimate woody cover trends from 2000 to 2014 over the entire Sahel. The annual woody cover estimation at 500 m scale is fairly accurate with an RMSE of 4.3 (woody cover %) and r(exp 2) = 0.74. Over the 15 year period we observed an average increase of 1.7 (+/- 5.0) woody cover (%) with large spatial differences: No clear change can be observed in densely populated areas (0.2 +/- 4.2), whereas a positive change is seen in sparsely populated areas (2.1 +/- 5.2). Woody cover is generally stable in cropland areas (0.9 +/- 4.6), reflecting the protective management of parkland trees by the farmers. Positive changes are observed in savannas (2.5 +/- 5.4) and woodland areas (3.9 +/- 7.3). The major pattern of woody cover change reveals strong increases in the sparsely populated Sahel zones of eastern Senegal, western Mali and central Chad, but a decreasing trend is observed in the densely populated western parts of Senegal, northern Nigeria, Sudan and southwestern Niger. This decrease is often local and limited to woodlands, being an indication of ongoing expansion of cultivated areas and selective logging.We show that an overall positive trend is found in areas of low anthropogenic pressure demonstrating the potential of these ecosystems to provide services such as carbon storage, if not over-utilized. Taken together, our results provide an unprecedented synthesis of woody cover dynamics in theSahel, and point to land use and human population density as important drivers, however only partially and locally offsetting a general post-drought increase.

  9. 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.

  10. Mapping fractional woody cover in semi-arid savannahs using multi-seasonal composites from Landsat data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higginbottom, Thomas P.; Symeonakis, Elias; Meyer, Hanna; van der Linden, Sebastian

    2018-05-01

    Increasing attention is being directed at mapping the fractional woody cover of savannahs using Earth-observation data. In this study, we test the utility of Landsat TM/ ETM-based spectral-temporal variability metrics for mapping regional-scale woody cover in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, for 2010. We employ a machine learning framework to compare the accuracies of Random Forest models derived using metrics calculated from different seasons. We compare these results to those from fused Landsat-PALSAR data to establish if seasonal metrics can compensate for structural information from the PALSAR signal. Furthermore, we test the applicability of a statistical variable selection method, the recursive feature elimination (RFE), in the automation of the model building process in order to reduce model complexity and processing time. All of our tests were repeated at four scales (30, 60, 90, and 120 m-pixels) to investigate the role of spatial resolution on modelled accuracies. Our results show that multi-seasonal composites combining imagery from both the dry and wet seasons produced the highest accuracies (R2 = 0.77, RMSE = 9.4, at the 120 m scale). When using a single season of observations, dry season imagery performed best (R2 = 0.74, RMSE = 9.9, at the 120 m resolution). Combining Landsat and radar imagery was only marginally beneficial, offering a mean relative improvement of 1% in accuracy at the 120 m scale. However, this improvement was concentrated in areas with lower densities of woody coverage (continue to exploit the Landsat archive, but should aim to use multi-seasonal derived information. When the coarser 120 m pixel scale is adequate, integration of Landsat and SAR data should be considered, especially in areas with lower woody cover densities. The use of multiple seasonal compositing periods offers promise for large-area mapping of savannahs, even in regions with a limited historical Landsat coverage.

  11. Woody Allen, serial schlemiel ?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédérique Brisset

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Woody Allen a développé au fil des années une persona cinématographique de schlemiel new-yorkais aisément reconnaissable par le spectateur. Elle marque nombre de ses films, qu’il y apparaisse en tant qu’acteur ou y dirige des substituts comédiens comme déclinaisons de lui-même. Si cette figure prototypique est le fondement de la sérialité dans sa filmographie, il est des traits stylistiques qui en portent trace tout au long de son œuvre : la récurrence annuelle de ses réalisations, la signature formelle symbolisée par ses génériques à la typographie singulière, le rythme de ses dialogues ponctués d’interjections et l’usage de l’autocitation sont autant de procédés qui marquent son cinéma d’un sceau très personnel. Ils fonctionnent comme des clins d’œil au spectateur qui reçoit dès lors LE Woody Allen millésimé comme une invitation à retrouver son microcosme. Ainsi la sérialité se pose comme à la fois initiale et conséquentielle de son système filmique, processus de création unique dans le cinéma américain.Woody Allen has long constructed a cinematographic persona of schlemiel New- Yorker that the audience can easily identify. It impacts most of his films, whether he stars in them or directs “substitute” actors to impersonate his character. If this prototypical figure is the basis of seriality in his cinematography, serial stylistic features can also be found all along his career: the annual recurrence of his productions, the formal signature symbolised by the typography of his singular credit titles, his rhythmical interjection-punctuated dialogues and the use of self-quotation imprint a very personal seal upon his movies. They all work as a recognition signals for the audience who thus receive THE Woody Allen vintage as an invitation to re-enter his microcosm. Seriality is then both initial and consequential to his cinematographic system, a unique creative process in American film history.

  12. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  13. Simultaneous Improvement in Water Use, Productivity and Albedo Through Crop Structural Modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, D.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural lands provide a tremendous opportunity to address challenges at the intersection of climate change, food and water security. Global demand for the major grain and seed crops is beginning to outstrip production, while population growth and the expansion of the global middle class have motivated calls for a doubling of food production by the middle of this century. This is occurring as yield gains for the major food crops have stagnated. At current rates of yield improvement this doubling will not be achieved. Plants have evolved to maximize the capture of radiation in the upper leaves, resulting in sub-optimal monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Using the world's most important protein crop, soybean, as an example, we show that by applying numerical optimization to a micrometeorological crop canopy model that significant, simultaneous gains in water use, productivity and reflectivity are possible with no increased demand on resources. Here we apply the MLCan multi-layer canopy biophysical model, which vertically resolves the radiation and micro-environmental variations that stimulate biochemical and ecophysiological functions that govern canopy-atmosphere exchange processes. At each canopy level photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and energy balance are solved simultaneously for shaded and sunlit foliage. A multi-layer sub-surface model accounts for water availability as a function of root biomass distribution. MLCan runs at sub-hourly temporal resolution, allowing it to capture variability in CO2, water and energy exchange as a function of environmental variability. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical distribution, leaf angle, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, we show that increases in either productivity (7%), water use (13%) or albedo (34%) could be achieved with no detriment to the other objectives, under United

  14. Volume calculations of coarse woody debris; evaluation of coarse woody debris volume calculations and consequences for coarse woody debris volume estimates in forest reserves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijdeven, S.M.J.; Vaessen, O.H.B.; Hees, van A.F.M.; Olsthoorn, A.F.M.

    2005-01-01

    Dead wood is recognized as one of the key indicators for sustainable forest management and biodiversity. Accurate assessments of dead wood volume are thus necessary. In this study New volume models were designed based on actual volume measurements of coarse woody debris. The New generic model

  15. Nutrient concentrations in coarse and fine woody debris of Populus tremuloides Michx.-dominated forests, northern Minnesota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klockow, Paul A.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Bradford, John B.; Fraver, Shawn

    2014-01-01

    Contemporary forest harvesting practices, specifically harvesting woody biomass as a source of bioenergy feedstock, may remove more woody debris from a site than conventional harvesting. Woody debris, particularly smaller diameter woody debris, plays a key role in maintaining ecosystem nutrient stores following disturbance. Understanding nutrient concentrations within woody debris is necessary for assessing the long-term nutrient balance consequences of altered woody debris retention, particularly in forests slated for use as bioenergy feedstocks. Nutrient concentrations in downed woody debris of various sizes, decay classes, and species were characterized within one such forest type, Populus tremuloides Michx.-dominated forests of northern Minnesota, USA. Nutrient concentrations differed significantly between size and decay classes and generally increased as decay progressed. Fine woody debris (≤ 7.5 cm diameter) had higher nutrient concentrations than coarse woody debris (> 7.5 cm diameter) for all nutrients examined except Na and Mn, and nutrient concentrations varied among species. Concentrations of N, Mn, Al, Fe, and Zn in coarse woody debris increased between one and three orders of magnitude, while K decreased by an order of magnitude with progressing decay. The variations in nutrient concentrations observed here underscore the complexity of woody debris nutrient stores in forested ecosystems and suggest that retaining fine woody debris at harvest may provide a potentially important source of nutrients following intensive removals of bioenergy feedstocks.

  16. Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Martin; Rasmussen, Kjeld; Peñuelas, Josep; Tian, Feng; Schurgers, Guy; Verger, Aleixandre; Mertz, Ole; Palmer, John R B; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2017-03-06

    The rapidly growing human population in sub-Saharan Africa generates increasing demand for agricultural land and forest products, which presumably leads to deforestation. Conversely, a greening of African drylands has been reported, but this has been difficult to associate with changes in woody vegetation. There is thus an incomplete understanding of how woody vegetation responds to socio-economic and environmental change. Here we used a passive microwave Earth observation data set to document two different trends in land area with woody cover for 1992-2011: 36% of the land area (6,870,000 km 2 ) had an increase in woody cover largely in drylands, and 11% had a decrease (2,150,000 km 2 ), mostly in humid zones. Increases in woody cover were associated with low population growth, and were driven by increases in CO 2 in the humid zones and by increases in precipitation in drylands, whereas decreases in woody cover were associated with high population growth. The spatially distinct pattern of these opposing trends reflects, first, the natural response of vegetation to precipitation and atmospheric CO 2 , and second, deforestation in humid areas, minor in size but important for ecosystem services, such as biodiversity and carbon stocks. This nuanced picture of changes in woody cover challenges widely held views of a general and ongoing reduction of the woody vegetation in Africa.

  17. Crop improvement using life cycle datasets acquired under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochida, Keiichi; Saisho, Daisuke; Hirayama, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Crops are exposed to various environmental stresses in the field throughout their life cycle. Modern plant science has provided remarkable insights into the molecular networks of plant stress responses in laboratory conditions, but the responses of different crops to environmental stresses in the field need to be elucidated. Recent advances in omics analytical techniques and information technology have enabled us to integrate data from a spectrum of physiological metrics of field crops. The interdisciplinary efforts of plant science and data science enable us to explore factors that affect crop productivity and identify stress tolerance-related genes and alleles. Here, we describe recent advances in technologies that are key components for data driven crop design, such as population genomics, chronological omics analyses, and computer-aided molecular network prediction. Integration of the outcomes from these technologies will accelerate our understanding of crop phenology under practical field situations and identify key characteristics to represent crop stress status. These elements would help us to genetically engineer "designed crops" to prevent yield shortfalls because of environmental fluctuations due to future climate change.

  18. Crop improvement using life cycle datasets acquired under field conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiichi eMochida

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Crops are exposed to various environmental stresses in the field throughout their life cycle. Modern plant science has provided remarkable insights into the molecular networks of plant stress responses in laboratory conditions, but the responses of different crops to environmental stresses in the field need to be elucidated. Recent advances in omics analytical techniques and information technology have enabled us to integrate data from a spectrum of physiological metrics of field crops. The interdisciplinary efforts of plant science and data science enable us to explore factors that affect crop productivity and identify stress tolerance-related genes and alleles. Here, we describe recent advances in technologies that are key components for data driven crop design, such as population genomics, chronological omics analyses, and computer-aided molecular network prediction. Integration of the outcomes from these technologies will accelerate our understanding of crop phenology under practical field situations and identify key characteristics to represent crop stress status. These elements would help us to genetically engineer designed crops to prevent yield shortfalls because of environmental fluctuations due to future climate change.

  19. The use of DNA markers for rapid improvement of crops in Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genetic engineering and biotechnology are providing new tools for genetic improvement of food crops. Molecular DNA markers are some of these tools which can be used in various fields of plant breeding and germplasm management. For example, molecular markers have been used to confirm the identity of hybrids in ...

  20. Processing woody debris biomass for co-milling with pulverized coal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dana Mitchell; Bob Rummer

    2007-01-01

    The USDA, Forest Service, Forest Products Lab funds several grants each year for the purpose of studying woody biomass utilization. One selected project proposed removing small diameter stems and unmerchantable woody material from National Forest lands and delivering it to a coal-fired power plant in Alabama for energy conversion. The Alabama Power Company...

  1. The Use of Cover Crops as Climate-Smart Management in Midwest Cropping Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basche, A.; Miguez, F.; Archontoulis, S.; Kaspar, T.

    2014-12-01

    The observed trends in the Midwestern United States of increasing rainfall variability will likely continue into the future. Events such as individual days of heavy rain as well as seasons of floods and droughts have large impacts on agricultural productivity and the natural resource base that underpins it. Such events lead to increased soil erosion, decreased water quality and reduced corn and soybean yields. Winter cover crops offer the potential to buffer many of these impacts because they essentially double the time for a living plant to protect and improve the soil. However, at present, cover crops are infrequently utilized in the Midwest (representing 1-2% of row cropped land cover) in particular due to producer concerns over higher costs and management, limited time and winter growing conditions as well as the potential harm to corn yields. In order to expand their use, there is a need to quantify how cover crops impact Midwest cropping systems in the long term and namely to understand how to optimize the benefits of cover crops while minimizing their impacts on cash crops. We are working with APSIM, a cropping systems platform, to specifically quantify the long term future impacts of cover crop incorporation in corn-based cropping systems. In general, our regional analysis showed only minor changes to corn and soybean yields (<1% differences) when a cover crop was or was not included in the simulation. Further, a "bad spring" scenario (where every third year had an abnormally wet/cold spring and cover crop termination and planting cash crop were within one day) did not result in any major changes to cash crop yields. Through simulations we estimate an average increase of 4-9% organic matter improvement in the topsoil and an average decrease in soil erosion of 14-32% depending on cover crop planting date and growth. Our work is part of the Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agriculture Project (CSCAP), a collaboration of eleven Midwestern

  2. Spatial-structural analysis of leafless woody riparian vegetation for hydraulic considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissteiner, Clemens; Jalonen, Johanna; Järvelä, Juha; Rauch, Hans Peter

    2013-04-01

    Woody riparian vegetation is a vital element of riverine environments. On one hand woody riparian vegetation has to be taken into account from a civil engineering point of view due to boundary shear stress and vegetation drag. On the other hand it has to be considered from a river ecological point of view due to shadowing effects and as a source of organic material for aquatic habitats. In hydrodynamic and hydro-ecological studies the effects of woody riparian vegetation on flow patterns are usually investigated on a very detailed level. On the contrary vegetation elements and their spatial patterns are generally analysed and discussed on the basis of an integral approach measuring for example basal diameters, heights and projected plant areas. For a better understanding of the influence of woody riparian vegetation on turbulent flow and on river ecology, it is essential to record and analyse plant data sets on the same level of quality as for hydrodynamic or hydro-ecologic purposes. As a result of the same scale of the analysis it is possible to incorporate riparian vegetation as a sub-model in the hydraulic analysis. For plant structural components, such as branches on different topological levels it is crucial to record plant geometrical parameters describing the habitus of the plant on branch level. An exact 3D geometrical model of real plants allows for an extraction of various spatial-structural plant parameters. In addition, allometric relationships help to summarize and describe plant traits of riparian vegetation. This paper focuses on the spatial-structural composition of leafless riparia woddy vegetation. Structural and spatial analyses determine detailed geometric properties of the structural components of the plants. Geometrical and topological parameters were recorded with an electro-magnetic scanning device. In total, 23 plants (willows, alders and birches) were analysed in the study. Data were recorded on branch level, which allowed for the

  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. Monitoring Crop Productivity over the U.S. Corn Belt using an Improved Light Use Efficiency Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, X.; Xiao, X.; Zhang, Y.; Qin, Y.; Doughty, R.

    2017-12-01

    Large-scale monitoring of crop yield is of great significance for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring food security. Satellite data that provide temporally and spatially continuous information that by themselves or in combination with other data or models, raises possibilities to monitor and understand agricultural productivity regionally. In this study, we first used an improved light use efficiency model-Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) to simulate the gross primary production (GPP). Model evaluation showed that the simulated GPP (GPPVPM) could well captured the spatio-temporal variation of GPP derived from FLUXNET sites. Then we applied the GPPVPM to further monitor crop productivity for corn and soybean over the U.S. Corn Belt and benchmarked with county-level crop yield statistics. We found VPM-based approach provides pretty good estimates (R2 = 0.88, slope = 1.03). We further showed the impacts of climate extremes on the crop productivity and carbon use efficiency. The study indicates the great potential of VPM in estimating crop yield and in understanding of crop yield responses to climate variability and change.

  5. Woody encroachment over 70 years in South African savannahs: overgrazing, global change or extinction aftershock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Nicola; Erasmus, B F N; Archibald, S; Bond, W J

    2016-09-19

    Woody encroachment in 'open' biomes like grasslands and savannahs is occurring globally. Both local and global drivers, including elevated CO2, have been implicated in these increases. The relative importance of different processes is unresolved as there are few multi-site, multi-land-use evaluations of woody plant encroachment. We measured 70 years of woody cover changes over a 1020 km(2) area covering four land uses (commercial ranching, conservation with elephants, conservation without elephants and communal rangelands) across a rainfall gradient in South African savannahs. Different directions of woody cover change would be expected for each different land use, unless a global factor is causing the increases. Woody cover change was measured between 1940 and 2010 using the aerial photo record. Detection of woody cover from each aerial photograph was automated using eCognitions' Object-based image analysis (OBIA). Woody cover doubled in all land uses across the rainfall gradient, except in conservation areas with elephants in low-rainfall savannahs. Woody cover in 2010 in low-rainfall savannahs frequently exceeded the maximum woody cover threshold predicted for African savannahs. The results indicate that a global factor, of which elevated CO2 is the likely candidate, may be driving encroachment. Elephants in low-rainfall savannahs prevent encroachment and localized megafaunal extinction is a probable additional cause of encroachment.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Protein improvement in crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabson, R.

    1974-01-01

    There are compelling reasons for attempting to increase the quality and quantity of protein available in crop plants through plant breeding, despite the fact that some critics have argued that no worldwide protein shortage exists. What used to be thought of as a 'protein gap' has now come to be considered in terms of protein-calorie malnutrition. This is only right since protein and calorie nutrition are inextricable. t the moment there are still unanswered questions as to the precise protein requirements of humans as a function of age, health and ambient conditions. There are, in addition, some indications that the incidence of Kwashiorkor (protein deficiency disease) is increasing in different parts of the world. At a recent meeting of the Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations System, Dr. Jean Mayer, an eminent human nutritionist of Harvard University, U.S.A., indicated the reasons for concern for the current food situation generally, and the protein food supply in particular. These factors include: - Immoderate continuing human population increases, most pronounced in some poor developing countries. - The highly accelerated consumption of animal foods associated with increasing affluence in the richer countries of the world. The production of such foods as meat demands great expenditures of grain, which is an inefficient mode of obtaining the required calories and protein for human consumption. - The over-exploitation of many of the world's fishery resources resulting in reduced yields, perhaps irreversibly, of some fishes. - Recent price increases in petroleum and fertilizer products which have imposed a major obstacle to increasing crop production. - The apparent alteration of climates in places like Africa, Asia and other parts of the Northern hemisphere which may put significant restrictions on crop production. hey are cogent reasons to be seriously concerned about these matters. (author)

  7. Protein improvement in crop plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rabson, R

    1974-07-01

    There are compelling reasons for attempting to increase the quality and quantity of protein available in crop plants through plant breeding, despite the fact that some critics have argued that no worldwide protein shortage exists. What used to be thought of as a 'protein gap' has now come to be considered in terms of protein-calorie malnutrition. This is only right since protein and calorie nutrition are inextricable. t the moment there are still unanswered questions as to the precise protein requirements of humans as a function of age, health and ambient conditions. There are, in addition, some indications that the incidence of Kwashiorkor (protein deficiency disease) is increasing in different parts of the world. At a recent meeting of the Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations System, Dr. Jean Mayer, an eminent human nutritionist of Harvard University, U.S.A., indicated the reasons for concern for the current food situation generally, and the protein food supply in particular. These factors include: - Immoderate continuing human population increases, most pronounced in some poor developing countries. - The highly accelerated consumption of animal foods associated with increasing affluence in the richer countries of the world. The production of such foods as meat demands great expenditures of grain, which is an inefficient mode of obtaining the required calories and protein for human consumption. - The over-exploitation of many of the world's fishery resources resulting in reduced yields, perhaps irreversibly, of some fishes. - Recent price increases in petroleum and fertilizer products which have imposed a major obstacle to increasing crop production. - The apparent alteration of climates in places like Africa, Asia and other parts of the Northern hemisphere which may put significant restrictions on crop production. hey are cogent reasons to be seriously concerned about these matters. (author)

  8. Evaluation of techniques for determining the density of fine woody debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky Fasth; Mark E. Harmon; Christopher W. Woodall; Jay. Sexton

    2010-01-01

    Evaluated various techniques for determining the density (i.e., bulk density) of fine woody debris during forest inventory activities. It was found that only experts in dead wood inventory may be able to identify fine woody debris stages of decay. Suggests various future research directions such as...

  9. 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.

  10. Trade and commerce in improved crops and food: an essay on food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershen, Drew L

    2010-11-30

    Agricultural trade between nations is a significant proportion of total international trade. Agricultural trade in transgenic crops faces extra complications due to the existence of domestic and international regimes that focus specifically on agricultural biotechnology. These specialized regimes create legal and commercial challenges for trade in transgenic crops that have significant implications for the food security of the nations of the world. By food security, one should understand not just the available supply of food, but also the quality of the food and the environmental impact of agricultural production systems. These specialized regimes for transgenic crops can either encourage or hinder the adoption of agricultural biotechnology as a sustainable intensive agriculture. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers hope for agronomic improvements for agricultural production, socio-economic betterment for farmers and environmental benefits for societies. Sustainable intensive agriculture offers particular hope for the poorest farmers of the world because agricultural biotechnology is a technology in the seed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Use of radioisotopes in agriculture: DNA based molecular markers in crop improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivaramakrishnan, S.; Seetharama, N.; Kannan, Seetha

    2001-01-01

    Agriculture has always benefited from the use of radioisotopes in many ways. In the beginning radioisotopes were mostly used for physiological studies to measure photosynthetic efficiency, nutrient uptake, and for mutation breeding. Radioisotopes have now become a part of the biotechnological tools that are being increasingly used in improving crops and production systems. The tools of biotechnology are being increasingly used to hasten breeding and address problems of biotic and abiotic stresses. Some of the non-radioactive methods have replaced radiotracer techniques and thus led to automation often at high cost. However, still there remain many applications where radioisotopes seem almost indispensable. For some of the applications like comparative genome mapping, the confirmation of transgenics, and establishment of gene copy number, use of RFLP with radioisotopes is essential. The following research areas at ICRISAT use radioisotopes: (1) physiological basis of adaptation to abiotic stresses (ii) development and use of appropriate DNA markers crop improvement; (iii) characterization of cytoplasmic male sterile systems and genetic diversity of breeding materials, land races and the wild relatives and (iv) molecular basis of disease resistance; (v) comparative genome mapping across cereals, (vi) isolation and characterization of genes of potential value to genetic improvement and (vii) verification of genetic transformation events. (author)

  12. IMPACT OF WOODY PLANTS SPECIES ON SOIL PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES ALONG GRAZING GRADIENTS IN RANGELANDS OF EASTERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the lowlands of arid and semiarid rangelands woody plants plays an important role in soil fertility maintenance, providing food, medicine, cosmetics, fodder, fuel wood and pesticides. A better understanding of the interaction of woody plants on their immediate environment is needed to guide optimum management of native vegetation in the production landscapes. However, the impact of woody plant species on soil properties remains poorly understood. This study evaluates the impact of two dominant woody plant species (A. senegal and B. aegyptica on soil physico-chemical properties along grazing gradients in rangelands of eastern Ethiopia. Six trees of each species were selected from light, moderate and heavy grazing sites.  Soil sample data at two depths (0-15 and 16-30 cm were collected from under and open areas of A. senegal and B. aegyptica from each grazing sites, and analysed for nutrient contents. The nutrient status of soil under both woody species was significantly higher especially with regard to soil organic matter (4.37%, total nitrogen (0.313%, and available phosphorus (11.62 than the open grassland with soil organic matter (3.82%, total nitrogen (0.246%, and available phosphorus (10.94 mg/Kg soil for A. Senegal. The soil organic matter (3.93%, total nitrogen (0.285%, available phosphorus (11.66 mg/Kg soil were significantly higher than open grassland with soil organic matter (3.52%, total nitrogen (0.218%, available phosphorus (10.73 mg/Kg soil for B. aegyptica. This was more pronounced in the top 15 cm of soil under A. senegal woody plant species and on the light and moderate grazing site. Therefore, this tree has a significant effect on soil fertility improvement in resource poor rangelands and as a result, it is important to retain scattered A. senegal and B. aegyptica plants in the lowlands of eastern Ethiopia.

  13. Woody biomass utilization trends, barriers, and strategies: Perspectives of U.S. Forest Service managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiloh Sundstrom; Max Nielsen-Pincus; Cassandra Moseley; Sarah. McCaffrey

    2012-01-01

    The use of woody biomass is being promoted across the United States as a means of increasing energy independence, mitigating climate change, and reducing the cost of hazardous fuels reduction treatments and forest restoration projects. The opportunities and challenges for woody biomass use on the national forest system are unique. In addition to making woody biomass...

  14. Carbon Stocks of Fine Woody Debris in Coppice Oak Forests at Different Development Stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ender Makineci

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Dead woody debris is a significant component of the carbon cycle in forest ecosystems. This study was conducted in coppice-originated oak forests to determine carbon stocks of dead woody debris in addition to carbon stocks of different ecosystem compartments from the same area and forests which were formerly elucidated. Weight and carbon stocks of woody debris were determined with recent samplings and compared among development stages (diameter at breast height (DBH, D1.3m, namely small-diameter forests (SDF = 0–8 cm, medium diameter forests (MDF = 8–20 cm, and large-diameter forests (LDF = 20–36 cm. Total woody debris was collected in samplings; as bilateral diameters of all woody debris parts were less than 10 cm, all woody parts were in the “fine woody debris (FWD” class. The carbon concentrations of FWD were about 48% for all stages. Mass (0.78–4.92 Mg·ha−1 and carbon stocks (0.38–2.39 Mg·ha−1 of FWD were significantly (p > 0.05 different among development stages. FWD carbon stocks were observed to have significant correlation with D1.3m, age, basal area, and carbon stocks of aboveground biomass (Spearman rank correlation coefficients; 0.757, 0.735, 0.709, and 0.694, respectively. The most important effects on carbon budgets of fine woody debris were determined to be coppice management and intensive utilization. Also, national forestry management, treatments of traditional former coppice, and conversion to high forest were emphasized as having substantial effects.

  15. Food crops face rising temperatures: An overview of responses, adaptive mechanisms, and approaches to improve heat tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeru Kaushal

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The rising temperatures are resulting in heat stress for various agricultural crops to limit their growth, metabolism, and leading to significant loss of yield potential worldwide. Heat stress adversely affects normal plant growth and development depending on the sensitivity of each crop species. Each crop species has its own range of temperature maxima and minima at different developmental stages beyond which all these processes get inhibited. The reproductive stage is on the whole more sensitive to heat stress, resulting in impaired fertilization to cause abortion of flowers. During seed filling, heat stress retards seed growth by affecting all the biochemical events to reduce seed size. Unfavorable temperature may significantly affect photosynthesis, respiration, water balance, and membrane stability of leaves. To combat heat stress, plants acquire various defense mechanisms for their survival such as maintaining membrane stability, and scavenging reactive oxygen species by generating antioxidants and stress proteins. Thermo-tolerance can be improved by the accumulation of various compounds of low molecular mass known as thermo-protectants as well as phyto-hormones. Exogenous application of these molecules has benefited plants growing under heat stress. Alternatively, transgenic plants over-expressing the enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of these molecules may be raised to increase their endogenous levels to improve heat tolerance. In recent times, various transgenics have been developed with improved thermo-tolerance having potential benefits for inducing heat tolerance in food crops. Updated information about of the effects of heat stress on various food crops and their responses as well as adaptive mechanisms is reviewed here.

  16. Use of composts to improve soil properties and crop productivity under low input agricultural system in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.; Mando, A.; Zombré, N.P.

    2000-01-01

    Lack of adequate nutrient supply and poor soil structure are the principal constraints to crop production under low input agriculture systems of West Africa. Experiments at two sites (Mediga and Yimtenga) were conducted in Burkina Faso to assess the impact of compost on improving crop production and

  17. Seventy five years of research on induced mutations with special reference to crop improvement in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kharkwal, M.C.; Pawar, S.E.; Pandey, R.N.

    2001-01-01

    Mutation research programmes for crop improvement were initiated about seven decades ago, immediately after the discovery of mutagenic effects X-rays on Drosophila by Muller 1927 and barley and maize by Stadler in 1929. During fifties and sixties, several countries including China, India, the Netherlands, USA and Japan took up the task of crop improvement through mutation breeding approaches. By the end of the 20 th century about 2252 mutant varieties of crop plants including cereals, oil seeds, pulses, vegetables, fruits, fibres and ornamentals have been developed and released for cultivation worldwide. More than 60% of the varieties were released after 1985. While 1585 varieties were released as direct mutants, 667 varieties were developed by using mutants in cross breeding. Physical mutagens (X-rays, gamma rays, thermal and fast neutrons) account for the development of about 89% of the total varieties. Gamma rays alone were used to develop about 60% of the mutant varieties. India has made an appreciable contribution with the development of 301 mutant varieties (> 13% ) of forty four crop species. The mutant varieties have been improved for plant architecture, yield, quality and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Mutation breeding has made a significant contribution to the national economy of the countries like China, India, Japan, Pakistan and USA. Induced mutagenesis is gaining importance in plant molecular biology as a tool to identify and isolate gene and to study their structure and function. (author)

  18. Genetic improvement of under-utilized and neglected crops in low income food deficit countries through irradiation and related techniques. Proceedings of a final research coordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-11-01

    The majority of the world's food is produced from only a few crops, and yet many neglected and under-utilized crops are extremely important for food production in low income food deficit countries (LIFDCs). As the human population grows at an alarming rate in LIFDCs, food availability has declined and is also affected due to environmental factors, lack of improvement of local crop species, erosion of genetic diversity and dependence on a few crop species for food supply. Neglected crops are traditionally grown by farmers in their centres of origin or centres of diversity, where they are still important for the subsistence of local communities, and maintained by socio-cultural preferences and traditional uses. These crops remain inadequately characterised and, until very recently, have been largely ignored by research and conservation. Farmers are losing these crops because they are less competitive with improved major crop species. Radiation-induced mutation techniques have successfully been used that benefited the most genetic improvement of 'major crops' and their know-how have a great potential for enhancing the use of under-utilized and neglected species and speeding up their domestication and crop improvement. The FAO/IAEA efforts on genetic improvement of under-utilized and neglected species play a strategic role in complementing the work that is being carried out worldwide in their promotion. This CRP entitled Genetic Improvement of Under-utilized and Neglected Crops in LIFDCs through Irradiation and Related Techniques was initiated in 1998 with an overall objective to improve food security, enhance nutritional balance, and promote sustainable agriculture in LIFDCs. Specific objectives addressed major constraints to productivity of neglected and under-utilized crops by genetic improvement with radiation-induced mutations and biotechnology in order to enhance economic viability and sustain crop species diversity, and in future to benefit small farmers. This

  19. Improving plot- and regional-scale crop models for simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, F.; Rötter, R.

    2013-12-01

    Many studies on global climate report that climate variability is increasing with more frequent and intense extreme events1. There are quite large uncertainties from both the plot- and regional-scale models in simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes on crop development, growth and productivity2,3. One key to reducing the uncertainties is better exploitation of experimental data to eliminate crop model deficiencies and develop better algorithms that more adequately capture the impacts of extreme events, such as high temperature and drought, on crop performance4,5. In the present study, in a first step, the inter-annual variability in wheat yield and climate from 1971 to 2012 in Finland was investigated. Using statistical approaches the impacts of climate variability and extremes on wheat growth and productivity were quantified. In a second step, a plot-scale model, WOFOST6, and a regional-scale crop model, MCWLA7, were calibrated and validated, and applied to simulate wheat growth and yield variability from 1971-2012. Next, the estimated impacts of high temperature stress, cold damage, and drought stress on crop growth and productivity based on the statistical approaches, and on crop simulation models WOFOST and MCWLA were compared. Then, the impact mechanisms of climate extremes on crop growth and productivity in the WOFOST model and MCWLA model were identified, and subsequently, the various algorithm and impact functions were fitted against the long-term crop trial data. Finally, the impact mechanisms, algorithms and functions in WOFOST model and MCWLA model were improved to better simulate the impacts of climate variability and extremes, particularly high temperature stress, cold damage and drought stress for location-specific and large area climate impact assessments. Our studies provide a good example of how to improve, in parallel, the plot- and regional-scale models for simulating impacts of climate variability and extremes, as needed for

  20. Introgression of physiological traits for a comprehensive improvement of drought adaptation in crop plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreeman, Sheshshayee M.; Vijayaraghavareddy, Preethi; Sreevathsa, Rohini; Rajendrareddy, Sowmya; Arakesh, Smitharani; Bharti, Pooja; Dharmappa, Prathibha; Soolanayakanahally, Raju

    2018-04-01

    Burgeoning population growth, industrial demand and the predicted global climate change resulting in erratic monsoon rains are expected to severely limit fresh water availability for agriculture both in irrigated and rainfed ecosystems. In order to remain food and nutrient secure, agriculture research needs to focus on devising strategies to save water in irrigated conditions and to develop superior cultivars with improved water productivity to sustain yield under rainfed conditions. Recent opinions accruing in the scientific literature strongly favour the adoption of a “trait based” approach for increasing water productivity especially the traits associated with maintenance of positive tissue turgor and maintenance of increased carbon assimilation as the most relevant traits to improve crop growth rates under water limiting conditions and to enhance water productivity. The advent of several water saving agronomic practices notwithstanding, a genetic enhancement strategy of introgressing distinct physiological, morphological and cellular mechanisms on to a single elite genetic background is essential for achieving a comprehensive improvement in drought adaptation in crop plants. The significant progress made in genomics, though would provide the necessary impetus, a clear understanding of the “traits” to be introgressed is the most essential need of the hour. Water uptake by a better root architecture, water conservation by preventing unproductive transpiration is crucial for maintaining positive tissue water relations. Improved carbon assimilation associated with carboxylation capacity and mesophyll conductance is equally important in sustaining crop growth rates under water limited conditions. Besides these major traits, we summarized the available information in literature on classifying various drought adaptive traits. We provide evidences that water-use efficiency when introgressed with moderately higher transpiration, would significantly enhance

  1. Biomass accumulation and chemical composition of Massai grass intercropped with forage legumes on an integrated crop-livestock-forest system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana da Costa Moreno Gama

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective was to evaluate the use of woody legumes (Albizia lebbeck, Cratylia argentea, Dipteryx Allata (Baru, a Leucaena hybrid (L. leucocephala + L. diversifolia, and Leucaena leucocephalacv. Cunningham and herbaceous legumes (Arachis pintoi intercropped with Panicum maximum cv. Massai, simultaneously implanted in a maize crop. The study made use of a randomized block experimental design with four replications. Assessments of biomass accumulation and forage nutritional value were made after the maize harvest, between June 2008 and October 2010. It was found that the residues of maize provided better growing conditions for Massai grass during the dry season. L. leucocephala cv. Cunningham and the Leucaena hybrid had the highest accumulation of all forage legumes evaluated, and provided the best nutritional value of all the arrangements tested. Of all woody legumes tested in this system, Leucaena was considered feasible for intercropping with Massai grass. The intercrop of perennial woody Baru with maize is not recommended. Albizia lebbeck and Cratylia argentea require further study, especially the yield assessment at different cutting intervals and cutting heights. Arachis pintoi had a low participation in the intercropping, showing greater performance over time, indicating slow thriving in this experimental condition.

  2. The combustion of sound and rotten coarse woody debris: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshua C. Hyde; Alistair M.S. Smith; Roger D. Ottmar; Ernesto C. Alvarado; Penelope Morgan

    2011-01-01

    Coarse woody debris serves many functions in forest ecosystem processes and has important implications for fire management as it affects air quality, soil heating and carbon budgets when it combusts. There is relatively little research evaluating the physical properties relating to the combustion of this coarse woody debris with even less specifically addressing...

  3. Breaking continuous potato cropping with legumes improves soil microbial communities, enzyme activities and tuber yield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Shuhao; Yeboah, Stephen; Cao, Li; Zhang, Junlian; Shi, Shangli; Liu, Yuhui

    2017-01-01

    This study was conducted to explore the changes in soil microbial populations, enzyme activity, and tuber yield under the rotation sequences of Potato–Common vetch (P–C), Potato–Black medic (P–B) and Potato–Longdong alfalfa (P–L) in a semi–arid area of China. The study also determined the effects of continuous potato cropping (without legumes) on the above mentioned soil properties and yield. The number of bacteria increased significantly (p continuous cropping soils, respectively compared to P–C rotation. The highest fungi/bacteria ratio was found in P–C (0.218), followed by P–L (0.184) and then P–B (0.137) rotation over the different cropping years. In the continuous potato cropping soils, the greatest fungi/bacteria ratio was recorded in the 4–year (0.4067) and 7–year (0.4238) cropping soils and these were significantly higher than 1–year (0.3041), 2–year (0.2545) and 3–year (0.3030) cropping soils. Generally, actinomycetes numbers followed the trend P–L>P–C>P–B. The P–L rotation increased aerobic azotobacters in 2–year (by 26% and 18%) and 4–year (40% and 21%) continuous cropping soils compared to P–C and P–B rotation, respectively. Generally, the highest urease and alkaline phosphate activity, respectively, were observed in P–C (55.77 mg g–1) and (27.71 mg g–1), followed by P–B (50.72 mg mg–1) and (25.64 mg g–1) and then P–L (41.61 mg g–1) and (23.26 mg g–1) rotation. Soil urease, alkaline phosphatase and hydrogen peroxidase activities decreased with increasing years of continuous potato cropping. On average, the P–B rotation significantly increased (p improve soil biology environment, alleviate continuous cropping obstacle and increase potato tuber yield in semi–arid region. PMID:28463981

  4. Impact of sole cropping and multiple cropping on soil humified carbon fractions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radhakrishnan, R.; Lee, I.J.

    2014-01-01

    The present study was planned to improve our understanding how crop rotation can enhance humified C fractions. A long term experiment was conducted on Vanmeter farm of the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon Ohio, USA from 2002 to 2007. Crop rotation treatments included were continuous corn (CC), corn-soybean (CS) and corn-soybean-wheat-cowpea (CSW) rotations. Randomized complete block design with 6 replications was used under natural field conditions. The findings of this long-term study revealed that multiple cropping had significantly improved humified carbon fractions compared to mono-cropping system. Although total humified carbon (THOC), sugar free humified carbon (HOC) concentration were non-significant however, humin (NH) contents, humic (HA), fulvic acids (FA), humic and fulvic acid associated glucose (HA-NH and FA-NH) were significantly affected by various crop rotations within five years. The soil under CC had 22-52% significantly greater NH concentration than CSW and CS rotations respectively. Similarly all crop rotations had shown 5-16 increase in HA and 5-17% decreased in FA over time. Likewise soil under CC had 16 and 54% greater HA-NH concentration as compared to CSW and CS rotations. The FA-NH concentration increased significantly by 27- 51% in soil under all treatments over time. The soil under CSW had greater HA/FA (1.6) fallowed by CC (1.4) and CS (1.1). Soils under CSW had significantly greater HA/HOC (12-18%) as compare to CC and CS respectively. Conversely, the value of FA/HOC decreased (1-23%) in soil under all crop rotation treatments within five years. Degree of humification (DH) had shown a significant increase (7-12%) in soil under all treatments as compared to 2002. Irrespective of crop rotation THOC, HOC, NH, humin, HA, HR and FA/HOC concentration decreased significantly with increase in soil depth. While fulvic acid concentration HA/HOC in all crop rotation increased with increase in soil depth. The effect of crop rotation

  5. Future challenges for woody biomass projections

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schadauer, K.; Barreiro, Susana; Schelhaas, M.; McRoberts, Ronald E.

    2017-01-01

    Many drivers affect woody biomass projections including forest available for wood supply, market behavior, forest ownership, distributions by age and yield classes, forest typologies resulting from different edaphic, climatic conditions, and last but not least, how these factors are incorporated

  6. Modeling and Optimization of Woody Biomass Harvest and Logistics in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Damon S.

    World energy consumption is at an all-time high and is projected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Currently, much of the energy that is produced comes from non-renewable fossil energy sources, which includes the burden of increased greenhouse gas emissions and the fear of energy insecurity. Woody biomass is being considered as a material that can be utilized to reduce the burden caused by fossil energy. While the technical capability to convert woody biomass to energy has been known for a long period of time, the cost of the feedstock has been considered too costly to be implemented in a large commercial scale. Increasing the use of woody biomass as an energy source requires that the supply chains are setup in a way that minimizes cost, the locational factors that lead to development are understood, the facilities are located in the most favorable locations and local resource assessments can be made. A mixed integer linear programming model to efficiently configure woody biomass supply chain configurations and optimize the harvest, extraction, transport, storage and preprocessing of the woody biomass resources to provide the lowest possible delivered price. The characteristics of woody biomass, such as spatial distribution and low bulk density, tend to make collection and transport difficult as compared to traditional energy sources. These factors, as well as others, have an adverse effect on the cost of the feedstock. The average delivered cost was found to be between 64.69-98.31 dry Mg for an annual demand of 180,000 dry Mg. The effect of resource availability and required demand was examined to determine the impact that each would have on the total cost. The use of woody biomass for energy has been suggested as a way to improve rural economies through job creation, reduction of energy costs and regional development. This study examined existing wood using bio-energy facilities in the northeastern United States to define the drivers of

  7. Future contributions of crop modelling : from heuristics and supporting decision making to understanding genetic regulation and aiding crop improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammer, G.L.; Kropff, M.J.; Sinclair, T.R.; Porter, J.R.

    2002-01-01

    Crop modelling has evolved over the last 30 or so years in concert with advances in crop physiology, crop ecology and computing technology. Having reached a respectable degree of acceptance, it is appropriate to review briefly the course of developments in crop modelling and to project what might be

  8. Relationship of Course Woody Debris to Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Prey Diversity and Abundance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, G.S.

    1999-09-03

    The abundance of diversity of prey commonly used by the red-cockaded woodpecker were monitored in experimental plots in which course woody debris was manipulated. In one treatment, all the woody debris over four inches was removed. In the second treatment, the natural amount of mortality remained intact. The overall diversity of prey was unaffected; however, wood roaches were significantly reduced by removal of woody debris. The latter suggests that intensive utilizations or harvesting practices may reduce foraging.

  9. Strategies of two tropical woody species to tolerate salt stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Melo Lustosa

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the leaf primary metabolism in two woody species, Sterculia foetida and Bombacopsis glabra. Both species have seeds rich in oil and they are largely found in regions with irregularities in water availability. Seedlings were grown in a greenhouse from seeds. At 140 days after emergence, 50% of the plants were subjected to salt stress for 23 days, daily receiving 100 mM of NaCl solution. In both species, leaf stomata conductance and water potential decreased quickly under salt stress. The two species showed different strategies in photosynthetic pigment concentration and components of nitrogen metabolism. S. foetida kept the pigment concentration unchanged after 23 days of stress, while B. glabra increased concentration of chlorophyll a and carotenoids. S. foetida showed a high leaf concentration of K+ in stressed plants and a Na+/K+ ratio without differences when compared to control. Thus, S. foetida presented a better ionic balance, while B. glabra invested in photoprotection. Therefore, both species present potential to be planted in Brazilian Northeast, where water deficit and salt stress are challenging for annual crops.

  10. Woody Vegetation Die off and Regeneration in Response to Rainfall Variability in the West African Sahel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Brandt

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The greening in the Senegalese Sahel has been linked to an increase in net primary productivity, with significant long-term trends being closely related to the woody strata. This study investigates woody plant growth and mortality within greening areas in the pastoral areas of Senegal, and how these dynamics are linked to species diversity, climate, soil and human management. We analyse woody cover dynamics by means of multi-temporal and multi-scale Earth Observation, satellite based rainfall and in situ data sets covering the period 1994 to 2015. We find that favourable conditions (forest reserves, low human population density, sufficient rainfall led to a rapid growth of Combretaceae and Balanites aegyptiaca between 2000 and 2013 with an average increase of 4% woody cover. However, the increasing dominance and low drought resistance of drought prone species bears the risk of substantial woody cover losses following drought years. This was observed in 2014–2015, with a die off of Guiera senegalensis in most places of the study area. We show that woody cover and woody cover trends are closely related to mean annual rainfall, but no clear relationship with rainfall trends was found over the entire study period. The observed spatial and temporal variation contrasts with the simplified labels of “greening” or “degradation”. While in principal a low woody plant diversity negatively impacts regional resilience, the Sahelian system is showing signs of resilience at decadal time scales through widespread increases in woody cover and high regeneration rates after periodic droughts. We have reaffirmed that the woody cover in Sahel responds to its inherent climatic variability and does not follow a linear trend.

  11. Woody vegetation die off and regeneration in response to rainfall variability in the west African Sahel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Martin; Tappan, G. Gray; Aziz Diouf, Abdoul; Beye, Gora; Mbow, Cheikh; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2017-01-01

    The greening in the Senegalese Sahel has been linked to an increase in net primary productivity, with significant long-term trends being closely related to the woody strata. This study investigates woody plant growth and mortality within greening areas in the pastoral areas of Senegal, and how these dynamics are linked to species diversity, climate, soil and human management. We analyse woody cover dynamics by means of multi-temporal and multi-scale Earth Observation, satellite based rainfall and in situ data sets covering the period 1994 to 2015. We find that favourable conditions (forest reserves, low human population density, sufficient rainfall) led to a rapid growth of Combretaceae and Balanites aegyptiaca between 2000 and 2013 with an average increase of 4% woody cover. However, the increasing dominance and low drought resistance of drought prone species bears the risk of substantial woody cover losses following drought years. This was observed in 2014–2015, with a die off of Guiera senegalensis in most places of the study area. We show that woody cover and woody cover trends are closely related to mean annual rainfall, but no clear relationship with rainfall trends was found over the entire study period. The observed spatial and temporal variation contrasts with the simplified labels of “greening” or “degradation”. While in principal a low woody plant diversity negatively impacts regional resilience, the Sahelian system is showing signs of resilience at decadal time scales through widespread increases in woody cover and high regeneration rates after periodic droughts. We have reaffirmed that the woody cover in Sahel responds to its inherent climatic variability and does not follow a linear trend.

  12. Improved regional-scale Brazilian cropping systems' mapping based on a semi-automatic object-based clustering approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellón, Beatriz; Bégué, Agnès; Lo Seen, Danny; Lebourgeois, Valentine; Evangelista, Balbino Antônio; Simões, Margareth; Demonte Ferraz, Rodrigo Peçanha

    2018-06-01

    Cropping systems' maps at fine scale over large areas provide key information for further agricultural production and environmental impact assessments, and thus represent a valuable tool for effective land-use planning. There is, therefore, a growing interest in mapping cropping systems in an operational manner over large areas, and remote sensing approaches based on vegetation index time series analysis have proven to be an efficient tool. However, supervised pixel-based approaches are commonly adopted, requiring resource consuming field campaigns to gather training data. In this paper, we present a new object-based unsupervised classification approach tested on an annual MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index time series and a Landsat 8 mosaic of the State of Tocantins, Brazil, for the 2014-2015 growing season. Two variants of the approach are compared: an hyperclustering approach, and a landscape-clustering approach involving a previous stratification of the study area into landscape units on which the clustering is then performed. The main cropping systems of Tocantins, characterized by the crop types and cropping patterns, were efficiently mapped with the landscape-clustering approach. Results show that stratification prior to clustering significantly improves the classification accuracies for underrepresented and sparsely distributed cropping systems. This study illustrates the potential of unsupervised classification for large area cropping systems' mapping and contributes to the development of generic tools for supporting large-scale agricultural monitoring across regions.

  13. Magnetopriming - an alternate strategy for crop stress management of field crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anand, Anjali

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are major deterrent to sustainable crop production worldwide. Seed germination and early seedling growth are considered as the most critical stages of plant growth under stress conditions. Maximising stress tolerance of crop species by breeding is an integral part of development of strategies for improving sustainable food production under stressed environment but the unprecedented rate at which stress is increasing vis-a-vis the time taken for development of a tolerant variety, necessitates exploring alternate strategies of crop stress management. Seed priming has emerged as a promising crop stress management technique that increases the speed of germination thus ensuring synchronized field emergence of the crop. Magnetopriming (exposure of seeds to magnetic field) is a non invasive physical stimulant used for improving seedling vigour that helps in establishment of crop stand under stress. In our experiments on maize; chickpea and wheat under water deficit and salinity, respectively, improved seed water absorption characteristics resulted in faster hydration of enzymes (amylases, protease and dehydrogenase) leading to early germination and enhanced vigour of seedlings under stress. Increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in faster germinating - magnetoprimed seeds, under both the growing conditions, suggested its role in oxidative signaling during seed germination process. An 'oxidative window' for reactive oxygen species ensured that faster germination rate in magnetoprimed seeds led to vigourous seedlings. Improved root system integrated with higher photosynthetic efficiency and efficient partitioning of Na + increased yield from magnetoprimed seeds under salinity in controlled experiments. Magnetopriming can be effectively used as a pre-sowing treatment for mitigating adverse effects of water deficit and salinity at seed germination and early seedling growth. Unlike other conventional priming techniques it avoids seed hydration and

  14. Spatial variability of soil carbon and nitrogen in two hybrid poplar-hay crop systems in southern Quebec, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winans, K. S.

    2013-12-01

    Canadian agricultural operations contribute approximately 8% of national GHG emissions each year, mainly from fertilizers, enteric fermentation, and manure management (Environment Canada, 2010). With improved management of cropland and forests, it is possible to mitigate GHG emissions through carbon (C) sequestration while enhancing soil and crop productivity. Tree-based intercropped (TBI) systems, consisting of a fast-growing woody species such as poplar (Populus spp.) planted in widely-spaced rows with crops cultivated between tree rows, were one of the technologies prioritized for investigation by the Agreement for the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AAGGP), because fast growing trees can be a sink for atmospheric carbon-dioxide (CO2) as well as a long-term source of farm income (Montagnini and Nair, 2004). However, there are relatively few estimates of the C sequestration in the trees or due to tree inputs (e.g., fine root turnover, litterfall that gets incorporated into SOC), and hybrid poplars grow exponentially in the first 8-10 years after planting. With the current study, our objectives were (1) to evaluate spatial variation in soil C and nitrogen (N) storage, CO2 and nitrogen oxide (N20), and tree and crop productivity for two hybrid poplar-hay intercrop systems at year 9, comparing TBI vs. non-TBI systems, and (2) to evaluate TBI systems in the current context of C trading markets, which value C sequestration in trees, unharvested crop components, and soils of TBI systems. The study results will provide meaningful measures that indicate changes due to TBI systems in the short-term and in the long-term, in terms of GHG mitigation, enhanced soil and crop productivity, as well as the expected economic returns in TBI systems.

  15. Improving the use of crop models for risk assessment and climate change adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challinor, Andrew J; Müller, Christoph; Asseng, Senthold; Deva, Chetan; Nicklin, Kathryn Jane; Wallach, Daniel; Vanuytrecht, Eline; Whitfield, Stephen; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin

    2018-01-01

    Crop models are used for an increasingly broad range of applications, with a commensurate proliferation of methods. Careful framing of research questions and development of targeted and appropriate methods are therefore increasingly important. In conjunction with the other authors in this special issue, we have developed a set of criteria for use of crop models in assessments of impacts, adaptation and risk. Our analysis drew on the other papers in this special issue, and on our experience in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 and the MACSUR, AgMIP and ISIMIP projects. The criteria were used to assess how improvements could be made to the framing of climate change risks, and to outline the good practice and new developments that are needed to improve risk assessment. Key areas of good practice include: i. the development, running and documentation of crop models, with attention given to issues of spatial scale and complexity; ii. the methods used to form crop-climate ensembles, which can be based on model skill and/or spread; iii. the methods used to assess adaptation, which need broadening to account for technological development and to reflect the full range options available. The analysis highlights the limitations of focussing only on projections of future impacts and adaptation options using pre-determined time slices. Whilst this long-standing approach may remain an essential component of risk assessments, we identify three further key components: 1.Working with stakeholders to identify the timing of risks. What are the key vulnerabilities of food systems and what does crop-climate modelling tell us about when those systems are at risk?2.Use of multiple methods that critically assess the use of climate model output and avoid any presumption that analyses should begin and end with gridded output.3.Increasing transparency and inter-comparability in risk assessments. Whilst studies frequently produce ranges that quantify uncertainty, the assumptions

  16. GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Assessment Tool: Developing Monthly Crop Condition Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaughey, K.; Becker Reshef, I.; Barker, B.; Humber, M. L.; Nordling, J.; Justice, C. O.; Deshayes, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) developed the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM) to improve existing agricultural information through a network of international partnerships, data sharing, and operational research. This presentation will discuss the Crop Monitor component of GEOGLAM, which provides the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) with an international, multi-source, and transparent consensus assessment of crop growing conditions, status, and agro-climatic conditions likely to impact global production. This activity covers the four primary crop types (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean) within the main agricultural producing regions of the AMIS countries. These assessments have been produced operationally since September 2013 and are published in the AMIS Market Monitor Bulletin. The Crop Monitor reports provide cartographic and textual summaries of crop conditions as of the 28th of each month, according to crop type. This presentation will focus on the building of international networks, data collection, and data dissemination.

  17. Fertigation for improved water use efficiency and crop yield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Wabel, M.I.; Al-Jaloud, A.A.; Hussain, G.; Karimulla, S.

    2002-01-01

    -1 relative to all other treatments. Nitrogen applied through fertigation was more effective towards yield improvement than soil application. The NUE was highest with 60 mg N L -1 as compared to all other higher dose of N application. The research findings showed that there is a lot of potential for adoption of fertigation practices in order to increase the production of greenhouse crops, improving the economics of these crops. (author)

  18. Non-enhanced phytoextraction of cadmium, zinc, and lead by high-yielding crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayerová, Markéta; Petrová, Šárka; Madaras, Mikuláš; Lipavský, Jan; Šimon, Tomáš; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2017-06-01

    Heavy metal soil contamination from mining and smelting has been reported in several regions around the world, and phytoextraction, using plants to accumulate risk elements in aboveground harvestable organs, is a useful method of substantially reducing this contamination. In our 3-year experiment, we tested the hypothesis that phytoextraction can be successful in local soil conditions without external fertilizer input. The phytoextraction efficiency of 15 high-yielding crop species was assessed in a field experiment performed at the Litavka River alluvium in the Příbram region of Czechia. This area is heavily polluted by Cd, Zn, and Pb from smelter installations which also polluted the river water and flood sediments. Heavy metal concentrations were analyzed in the herbaceous plants' aboveground and belowground biomass and in woody plants' leaves and branches. The highest Cd and Zn mean concentrations in the aboveground biomass were recorded in Salix x fragilis L. (10.14 and 343 mg kg -1 in twigs and 16.74 and 1188 mg kg -1 in leaves, respectively). The heavy metal content in woody plants was significantly higher in leaves than in twigs. In addition, Malva verticillata L. had the highest Cd, Pb, and Zn concentrations in herbaceous species (6.26, 12.44, and 207 mg kg -1 , respectively). The calculated heavy metal removal capacities in this study proved high phytoextraction efficiency in woody species; especially for Salix × fragilis L. In other tested plants, Sorghum bicolor L., Helianthus tuberosus L., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, and Phalaris arundinacea L. species are also recommended for phytoextraction.

  19. Relay cropping of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) improves the profitability of cotton-wheat cropping system in Punjab, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajjad, Aamer; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Ahmad, Riaz; Waraich, Ejaz Ahmad

    2018-01-01

    Delayed sowing of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in cotton-based system reduces the productivity and profitability of the cotton-wheat cropping system. In this scenario, relay cropping of wheat in standing cotton might be a viable option to ensure the timely wheat sowing with simultaneous improvement in wheat yields and system profitability. This 2-year study (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) aimed to evaluate the influence of sowing dates and relay cropping combined with different management techniques of cotton sticks on the wheat yield, soil physical properties, and the profitability of the cotton-wheat system. The experiment consisted of five treatments viz. (S1) sowing of wheat at the 7th of November by conventional tillage (two disc harrows + one rotavator + two plankings) after the removal of cotton sticks, (S2) sowing of wheat at the 7th of November by conventional tillage (two disc harrows + two plankings) after the incorporation of cotton sticks in the field with a rotavator, (S3) sowing of wheat at the 7th of November as relay crop in standing cotton with broadcast method, (S4) sowing of wheat at the 15th of December by conventional tillage (two disc harrows + one rotavator + two plankings) after the removal of cotton sticks, and (S5) sowing of wheat at the 15th of December by conventional tillage (two disc harrows + two plankings) after the incorporation of cotton sticks in the field with a rotavator. The highest seed cotton yield was observed in the S5 treatment which was statistically similar with the S3 and S4 treatments; seed cotton yield in the S1 and S2 treatments has been the lowest in both years of experimentation. However, the S2 treatment produced substantially higher root length, biological yield, and grain yield of wheat than the other treatments. The lower soil bulk density at 0-10-cm depth was recorded in the S2 treatment which was statistically similar with the S5 treatment during both years of experimentation. The volumetric water contents, net

  20. Participatory tools working with crops, varieties and seeds. A guide for professionals applying participatory approaches in agrobiodiversity management, crop improvement and seed sector development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boef, de W.S.; Thijssen, M.H.

    2007-01-01

    Outline to the guide Within our training programmes on local management of agrobiodiversity, participatory crop improvement and the support of local seed supply participatory tools get ample attention. Tools are dealt with theoretically, are practised in class situations, but are also applied in

  1. Simultaneous improvement in productivity, water use, and albedo through crop structural modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, Darren T; Kumar, Praveen; Long, Stephen P

    2014-06-01

    Spanning 15% of the global ice-free terrestrial surface, agricultural lands provide an immense and near-term opportunity to address climate change, food, and water security challenges. Through the computationally informed breeding of canopy structural traits away from those of modern cultivars, we show that solutions exist that increase productivity and water use efficiency, while increasing land-surface reflectivity to offset greenhouse gas warming. Plants have evolved to maximize capture of radiation in the upper leaves, thus shading competitors. While important for survival in the wild, this is suboptimal in monoculture crop fields for maximizing productivity and other biogeophysical services. Crop progenitors evolved over the last 25 million years in an atmosphere with less than half the [CO2] projected for 2050. By altering leaf photosynthetic rates, rising [CO2] and temperature may also alter the optimal canopy form. Here using soybean, the world's most important protein crop, as an example we show by applying optimization routines to a micrometeorological leaf canopy model linked to a steady-state model of photosynthesis, that significant gains in production, water use, and reflectivity are possible with no additional demand on resources. By modifying total canopy leaf area, its vertical profile and angular distribution, and shortwave radiation reflectivity, all traits available in most major crop germplasm collections, increases in productivity (7%) are possible with no change in water use or albedo. Alternatively, improvements in water use (13%) or albedo (34%) can likewise be made with no loss of productivity, under Corn Belt climate conditions. © 2014 California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  2. Assessing woody vegetation trends in Sahelian drylands using MODIS based seasonal metrics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Martin Stefan; Hiernaux, Pierre; Rasmussen, Kjeld

    2016-01-01

    Woody plants play a major role for the resilience of drylands and in peoples' livelihoods. However, due to their scattered distribution, quantifying and monitoring woody cover over space and time is challenging. We develop a phenology driven model and train/validate MODIS (MCD43A4, 500 m) derived...

  3. Improvement of Alternative Crop Phenology Detection Algorithms using MODIS NDVI Time Series Data in US Corn Belt Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Kang, S.; Seo, B.; Lee, K.

    2017-12-01

    Predicting crop phenology is important for understanding of crop development and growth processes and improving the accuracy of crop model. Remote sensing offers a feasible tool for monitoring spatio-temporal patterns of crop phenology in region and continental scales. Various methods have been developed to determine the timing of crop phenological stages using spectral vegetation indices (i.e. NDVI and EVI) derived from satellite data. In our study, it was compared four alternative detection methods to identify crop phenological stages (i.e. the emergence and harvesting date) using high quality NDVI time series data derived from MODIS. Also we investigated factors associated with crop development rate. Temperature and photoperiod are the two main factors which would influence the crop's growth pattern expressed in the VI data. Only the effect of temperature on crop development rate was considered. The temperature response function in the Wang-Engel (WE) model was used, which simulates crop development using nonlinear models with response functions that range from zero to one. It has attempted at the state level over 14 years (2003-2016) in Iowa and Illinois state of USA, where the estimated phenology date by using four methods for both corn and soybean. Weekly crop progress reports produced by the USDA NASS were used to validate phenology detection algorithms effected by temperature. All methods showed substantial uncertainty but the threshold method showed relatively better agreement with the State-level data for soybean phenology.

  4. Woody biomass and bioenergy potentials in Southeast Asia between 1990 and 2020

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Nophea; Knorr, Wolfgang; Foster, David R.; Etoh, Hiroko; Ninomiya, Hiroshi; Chay, Sengtha; Sun, Sengxi; Kim, Sophanarith

    2009-01-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are important sources of timber and other forest products, of local energy for cooking and heading, and potentially as sources of bioenergy. Many of these forests have experienced deforestation and forest degradation over the last few decades. The potential flow of woody biomass for bioenergy from forests is uncertain and needs to be assessed before policy intervention can be successfully implemented in the context of international negotiations on climate change. Using current data, we developed a forest land use model and projected changes in area of natural forests and forest plantations from 1990 to 2020. We also developed biomass change and harvest models to estimate woody biomass availability in the forests under the current management regime. Due to deforestation and logging (including illegal logging), projected annual woody biomass production in natural forests declined from 815.9 million tons (16.3 EJ) in 1990 to 359.3 million tons (7.2 EJ) in 2020. Woody biomass production in forest plantations was estimated at 16.2 million tons yr -1 (0.3 EJ), but was strongly affected by cutting rotation length. Average annual woody biomass production in all forests in Southeast Asia between 1990 and 2020 was estimated at 563.4 million tons (11.3 EJ) yr -1 declining about 1.5% yr -1 . Without incentives to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and to promote forest rehabilitation and plantations, woody biomass as well as wood production and carbon stocks will continue to decline, putting sustainable development in the region at risk as the majority of the population depend mostly on forest ecosystem services for daily survival. (author)

  5. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovic, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-04-01

    yet still conservative fertilizer application rates, where yield increases of 30 to 190% are possible. External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  6. Perspectives and Challenges of Microbial Application for Crop Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmusk, Salme; Behers, Lawrence; Muthoni, Julia; Muraya, Anthony; Aronsson, Anne-Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    Global population increases and climate change pose a challenge to worldwide crop production. There is a need to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner and to find solutions to combat abiotic stress, pathogens, and pests. Plants are associated with complex microbiomes, which have an ability to promote plant growth and stress tolerance, support plant nutrition, and antagonize plant pathogens. The integration of beneficial plant-microbe and microbiome interactions may represent a promising sustainable solution to improve agricultural production. The widespread commercial use of the plant beneficial microorganisms will require a number of issues addressed. Systems approach using microscale information technology for microbiome metabolic reconstruction has potential to advance the microbial reproducible application under natural conditions. PMID:28232839

  7. Exploiting Genomic Resources for Efficient Conservation and Use of Chickpea, Groundnut, and Pigeonpea Collections for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. L. Laxmipathi Gowda

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Both chickpea ( L. and pigeonpea [ (L. Millsp.] are important dietary source of protein while groundnut ( L. is one of the major oil crops. Globally, approximately 1.1 million grain legume accessions are conserved in genebanks, of which the ICRISAT genebank holds 49,485 accessions of cultivated species and wild relatives of chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut from 133 countries. These genetic resources are reservoirs of many useful genes for present and future crop improvement programs. Representative subsets in the form of core and mini core collections have been used to identify trait-specific genetically diverse germplasm for use in breeding and genomic studies in these crops. Chickpea, groundnut, and pigeonpea have moved from “orphan” to “genomic resources rich crops.” The chickpea and pigeonpea genomes have been decoded, and the sequences of groundnut genome will soon be available. With the availability of these genomic resources, the germplasm curators, breeders, and molecular biologists will have abundant opportunities to enhance the efficiency of genebank operations, mine allelic variations in germplasm collection, identify genetically diverse germplasm with beneficial traits, broaden the cultigen’s genepool, and accelerate the cultivar development to address new challenges to production, particularly with respect to climate change and variability. Marker-assisted breeding approaches have already been initiated for some traits in chickpea and groundnut, which should lead to enhanced efficiency and efficacy of crop improvement. Resistance to some pests and diseases has been successfully transferred from wild relatives to cultivated species.

  8. 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

  9. Direct use of phosphate rock to improve crop production in Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sisworo, E.L.; Rasjid, H.; Sisworo, W.H.; Haryanto; Idris, K.

    2002-01-01

    In Indonesia most of the areas left for producing crops have soils such as Ultisols and Oxisols that are highly weathered, acid and of low fertility. One of the main constraints is their low available P to support food crop production. P inputs such as inorganic fertilizers, organic matter, and phosphate rock (PR) must be applied. Phosphate rock is one of the options for farmers to use as a P-source for food crops. In the frame of the coordinated research program three pot and five field experiments were conducted to determine the agronomic effectiveness of PR for food crops using 32 P isotopic techniques. Crops used in the pot experiments were lowland rice, soybean, and mungbean. One of the pot experiments was a crop rotation simulation where upland rice, soybean, and mungbean were grown in sequence. Two of the field experiments were a crop rotation of upland rice, soybean, and mungbean. In the field experiments, 32 P was used to determine the agronomic effectiveness, whenever possible. In general, the direct application of PR was able to increase plant growth in the pot experiments and crop production in the field experiments. Use of 32 P was a good tool to determine the agronomic effectiveness of PR in the pot and field experiments. (author)

  10. Putting mechanisms into crop production models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boote, Kenneth J; Jones, James W; White, Jeffrey W; Asseng, Senthold; Lizaso, Jon I

    2013-09-01

    Crop growth models dynamically simulate processes of C, N and water balance on daily or hourly time-steps to predict crop growth and development and at season-end, final yield. Their ability to integrate effects of genetics, environment and crop management have led to applications ranging from understanding gene function to predicting potential impacts of climate change. The history of crop models is reviewed briefly, and their level of mechanistic detail for assimilation and respiration, ranging from hourly leaf-to-canopy assimilation to daily radiation-use efficiency is discussed. Crop models have improved steadily over the past 30-40 years, but much work remains. Improvements are needed for the prediction of transpiration response to elevated CO₂ and high temperature effects on phenology and reproductive fertility, and simulation of root growth and nutrient uptake under stressful edaphic conditions. Mechanistic improvements are needed to better connect crop growth to genetics and to soil fertility, soil waterlogging and pest damage. Because crop models integrate multiple processes and consider impacts of environment and management, they have excellent potential for linking research from genomics and allied disciplines to crop responses at the field scale, thus providing a valuable tool for deciphering genotype by environment by management effects. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Characterization of fast pyrolysis products generated from several western USA woody species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacqueline M. Jarvis; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Nathaniel M. Anderson; Yuri Corilo; Ryan P. Rodgers

    2014-01-01

    Woody biomass has the potential to be utilized at an alternative fuel source through its pyrolytic conversion. Here, fast pyrolysis bio-oils derived from several western USA woody species are characterized by negative-ion electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS) to determine molecular-level composition. The...

  12. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

  13. Iraq uses nuclear technology to improve crop productivity and adapt to climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gil, Laura

    2016-01-01

    A new drought-tolerant wheat variety developed with the support of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has increased yields fourfold in Iraq. This mutant variety now accounts for close to two thirds of all the wheat produced in the country. Iraq is increasingly making use of nuclear technology to improve its crop yields and cope with the consequences of a changing climate. Researchers in the country have developed new drought-tolerant plant varieties and improved water and soil management.

  14. Conundrums in mixed woody-herbaceous plant systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    House, JI

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available -form communities, the novel, complex, nonlinear behaviour of mixed tree-grass systems cannot be accounted for by simply studying or modelling woody and herbaceous components independently. A more robust understanding requires addressing three fundamental conundrums...

  15. Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koevoets, Iko T.; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J. Theo. M.; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant’s response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops. PMID:27630659

  16. Affordable nutrient solutions for improved food security as evidenced by crop trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Marijn; See, Linda; You, Liangzhi; Balkovič, Juraj; Fritz, Steffen; Khabarov, Nikolay; Obersteiner, Michael; Wood, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The continuing depletion of nutrients from agricultural soils in Sub-Saharan African is accompanied by a lack of substantial progress in crop yield improvement. In this paper we investigate yield gaps for corn under two scenarios: a micro-dosing scenario with marginal increases in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) of 10 kg ha(-1) and a larger yet still conservative scenario with proposed N and P applications of 80 and 20 kg ha(-1) respectively. The yield gaps are calculated from a database of historical FAO crop fertilizer trials at 1358 locations for Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Our approach allows connecting experimental field scale data with continental policy recommendations. Two critical findings emerged from the analysis. The first is the degree to which P limits increases in corn yields. For example, under a micro-dosing scenario, in Africa, the addition of small amounts of N alone resulted in mean yield increases of 8% while the addition of only P increased mean yields by 26%, with implications for designing better balanced fertilizer distribution schemes. The second finding was the relatively large amount of yield increase possible for a small, yet affordable amount of fertilizer application. Using African and South American fertilizer prices we show that the level of investment needed to achieve these results is considerably less than 1% of Agricultural GDP for both a micro-dosing scenario and for the scenario involving higher yet still conservative fertilizer application rates. In the latter scenario realistic mean yield increases ranged between 28 to 85% in South America and 71 to 190% in Africa (mean plus one standard deviation). External investment in this low technology solution has the potential to kick start development and could complement other interventions such as better crop varieties and improved economic instruments to support farmers.

  17. Meat quality of broiler breast fillets with white striping and woody breast muscle myopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tijare, V V; Yang, F L; Kuttappan, V A; Alvarado, C Z; Coon, C N; Owens, C M

    2016-09-01

    The global poultry industry has been faced with emerging broiler breast meat quality issues including conditions known as white striping (WS, white striations parallel to muscle fibers) and woody breast (WB, hardness of raw fillet). Experiments were conducted to evaluate effects of WS and WB hardness on meat quality traits in broiler breast fillets. In Exp. 1, birds were processed at approximately 9 wk of age and deboned at 4 h postmortem (PM); in Exp. 2, birds were processed at approximately 6 and 9 wk of age and deboned at 2 h PM. Fillets were categorized as: normal for both white striping and woody breast (NORM); moderate for white striping and mild for woody breast (MILD); severe for white striping and mild for woody breast (WS); severe for woody breast and moderate for white striping (WB); or severe for both white striping and woody breast (BOTH). Sarcomere length, gravimetric fragmentation index, marination uptake, cook loss, and Meullenet-Owens razor shear energy (MORSE) values on non-marinated and marinated fillets were assessed. Sarcomeres tended to be longer (P = 0.07) with increasing severity of WS and WB in both experiments and gravimetric fragmentation index did not differ (P > 0.05) among categories. Marinade uptake decreased (P  0.05) in non-marinated fillets, the marinated BOTH fillets had greater MORSE values (P  0.05) among categories of marinated breasts. At 9 wk, WS and BOTH were higher (P white striping and woody breast, individually or in combination, negatively impact meat quality, especially water holding capacity attributes such as marinade uptake and cook loss. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  18. The iPot Project: improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Nackaerts, Kris; Gobin, Anne; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Curnel, Yannick; Tychon, Bernard; Wellens, Joost; Cools, Romain; Cattoor, Nele

    2015-04-01

    Belgian potato processors, traders and packers are increasingly working with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels on the land as well as from above is becoming an important tool to improve the quantity and quality of the potato crop and reduce risks in order to plan the storage, packaging or processing and as such to strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. At the same time, precision agriculture continues to gain importance and progress. Farmers are obligated to invest in new technologies. Between mid-May and the end of June 2014 potato fields in Gembloux were monitored from emergence till canopy closure. UAV images (RGB) and digital (hemispherical) photographs were taken at ten-daily intervals. Crop emergence maps show the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover). For three UAV flights during the growing season RGB images at 3 cm resolution were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness. Based on the greenness %cover and daily cover growth were derived for 5x5m pixels and 25x25m pixels. The latter resolution allowed for comparison with high resolution satellite imagery. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) from high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size). DMC based cover maps showed similar patterns as compared with the UAV-based cover maps, and allows for further applications of the data in crop management. Today the use of geo-information by the (private) agricultural sector in Belgium is rather limited, notwithstanding the great benefits this type of information may offer, as recognized by the sector. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), aims to provide the Belgian potato sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil) and crop development and

  19. Nutrition and adventitious rooting in woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Bortolanza Pereira

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Vegetative propagation success of commercial genotypes via cutting techniques is related to several factors, including nutritional status of mother trees and of propagation material. The nutritional status determines the carbohydrate quantities, auxins and other compounds of plant essential metabolism for root initiation and development. Each nutrient has specific functions in plant, acting on plant structure or on plant physiology. Although the importance of mineral nutrition for success of woody plants vegetative propagation and its relation with adventitious rooting is recognized, the role of some mineral nutrients is still unknown. Due to biochemical and physiological complexity of adventitious rooting process, there are few researches to determine de role of nutrients on development of adventitious roots. This review intends to explore de state of the art about the effect of mineral nutrition on adventitious rooting of woody plants.

  20. Direct use of phosphate rock to improve crop production in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sisworo, E L; Rasjid, H; Sisworo, W H; Haryanto, [Batan, Center for the application of isotopes and radiation, Jakarta (Indonesia); Idris, K [Bogor Agriculture Institute, Bogor (Indonesia)

    2002-02-01

    In Indonesia most of the areas left for producing crops have soils such as Ultisols and Oxisols that are highly weathered, acid and of low fertility. One of the main constraints is their low available P to support food crop production. P inputs such as inorganic fertilizers, organic matter, and phosphate rock (PR) must be applied. Phosphate rock is one of the options for farmers to use as a P-source for food crops. In the frame of the coordinated research program three pot and five field experiments were conducted to determine the agronomic effectiveness of PR for food crops using {sup 32}P isotopic techniques. Crops used in the pot experiments were lowland rice, soybean, and mungbean. One of the pot experiments was a crop rotation simulation where upland rice, soybean, and mungbean were grown in sequence. Two of the field experiments were a crop rotation of upland rice, soybean, and mungbean. In the field experiments, {sup 32}P was used to determine the agronomic effectiveness, whenever possible. In general, the direct application of PR was able to increase plant growth in the pot experiments and crop production in the field experiments. Use of {sup 32}P was a good tool to determine the agronomic effectiveness of PR in the pot and field experiments. (author)

  1. Mapping gains and losses in woody vegetation across global tropical drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tian, Feng; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Liu, Yi Y

    2017-01-01

    MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data to remove the interannual fluctuations of the woody leaf component. We revealed significant trends (P ... trend in the leaf component (VODleaf modeled from NDVI), indicating pronounced gradual growth/decline in woody vegetation not captured by traditional assessments. The method is validated using a unique record of ground measurements from the semiarid Sahel and shows a strong agreement between changes...

  2. Small RNAs in plants: Recent development and application for crop improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Ayushi eKamthan; Abira eChaudhuri; Mohan eKamthan; Asis eDatta

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RN...

  3. 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)

  4. Diel habitat selection of largemouth bass following woody structure installation in Table Rock Lake, Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J.M.; Paukert, Craig P.; Bush, S.C.; Allen, M.J.; Siepker, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède) use of installed habitat structure was evaluated in a large Midwestern USA reservoir to determine whether or not these structures were used in similar proportion to natural habitats. Seventy largemouth bass (>380 mm total length) were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and a subset was relocated monthly during day and night for one year. The top habitat selection models (based on Akaike's information criterion) suggest largemouth bass select 2–4 m depths during night and 4–7 m during day, whereas littoral structure selection was similar across diel periods. Largemouth bass selected boat docks at twice the rate of other structures. Installed woody structure was selected at similar rates to naturally occurring complex woody structure, whereas both were selected at a higher rate than simple woody structure. The results suggest the addition of woody structure may concentrate largemouth bass and mitigate the loss of woody habitat in a large reservoir.

  5. Climatic regions as an indicator of forest coarse and fine woody debris carbon stocks in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liknes Greg C

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coarse and fine woody debris are substantial forest ecosystem carbon stocks; however, there is a lack of understanding how these detrital carbon stocks vary across forested landscapes. Because forest woody detritus production and decay rates may partially depend on climatic conditions, the accumulation of coarse and fine woody debris carbon stocks in forests may be correlated with climate. This study used a nationwide inventory of coarse and fine woody debris in the United States to examine how these carbon stocks vary by climatic regions and variables. Results Mean coarse and fine woody debris forest carbon stocks vary by Köppen's climatic regions across the United States. The highest carbon stocks were found in regions with cool summers while the lowest carbon stocks were found in arid desert/steppes or temperate humid regions. Coarse and fine woody debris carbon stocks were found to be positively correlated with available moisture and negatively correlated with maximum temperature. Conclusion It was concluded with only medium confidence that coarse and fine woody debris carbon stocks may be at risk of becoming net emitter of carbon under a global climate warming scenario as increases in coarse or fine woody debris production (sinks may be more than offset by increases in forest woody detritus decay rates (emission. Given the preliminary results of this study and the rather tenuous status of coarse and fine woody debris carbon stocks as either a source or sink of CO2, further research is suggested in the areas of forest detritus decay and production.

  6. Nutritionally Enhanced Food Crops; Progress and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen L. Hefferon

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Great progress has been made over the past decade with respect to the application of biotechnology to generate nutritionally improved food crops. Biofortified staple crops such as rice, maize and wheat harboring essential micronutrients to benefit the world’s poor are under development as well as new varieties of crops which have the ability to combat chronic disease. This review discusses the improvement of the nutritional status of crops to make a positive impact on global human health. Several examples of nutritionally enhanced crops which have been developed using biotechnological approaches will be discussed. These range from biofortified crops to crops with novel abilities to fight disease. The review concludes with a discussion of hurdles faced with respect to public perception, as well as directions of future research and development for nutritionally enhanced food crops.

  7. Green biotechnology, nanotechnology and bio-fortification: perspectives on novel environment-friendly crop improvement strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashveer, Shikha; Singh, Vikram; Kaswan, Vineet; Kaushik, Amit; Tokas, Jayanti

    2014-10-01

    Food insecurity and malnutrition are prominent issues for this century. As the world's population continues to increase, ensuring that the earth has enough food that is nutritious too will be a difficult task. Today one billion people of the world are undernourished and more than a third are malnourished. Moreover, the looming threat of climate change is exasperating the situation even further. At the same time, the total acreage of arable land that could support agricultural use is already near its limits, and may even decrease over the next few years due to salination and desertification patterns resulting from climate change. Clearly, changing the way we think about crop production must take place on multiple levels. New varieties of crops must be developed which can produce higher crop yields with less water and fewer agricultural inputs. Besides this, the crops themselves must have improved nutritional qualities or become biofortified in order to reduce the chances of 'hidden hunger' resulting from malnourishment. It is difficult to envision the optimum way to increase crop production using a single uniform strategy. Instead, a variety of approaches must be employed and tailored for any particular agricultural setting. New high-impact technologies such as green biotechnology, biofortification, and nanotechnology offer opportunities for boosting agricultural productivity and enhancing food quality and nutritional value with eco-friendly manner. These agricultural technologies currently under development will renovate our world to one that can comfortably address the new directions, our planet will take as a result of climate change.

  8. Improved Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Crop Production at the Catchment Scale via a Process-Based Nitrogen Simulation Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Wenjie; van der Werf, Hayo M G; Salmon-Monviola, Jordy

    2015-09-15

    One of the major challenges in environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of crop production is the nonlinearity between nitrogen (N) fertilizer inputs and on-site N emissions resulting from complex biogeochemical processes. A few studies have addressed this nonlinearity by combining process-based N simulation models with LCA, but none accounted for nitrate (NO3(-)) flows across fields. In this study, we present a new method, TNT2-LCA, that couples the topography-based simulation of nitrogen transfer and transformation (TNT2) model with LCA, and compare the new method with a current LCA method based on a French life cycle inventory database. Application of the two methods to a case study of crop production in a catchment in France showed that, compared to the current method, TNT2-LCA allows delineation of more appropriate temporal limits when developing data for on-site N emissions associated with specific crops in this catchment. It also improves estimates of NO3(-) emissions by better consideration of agricultural practices, soil-climatic conditions, and spatial interactions of NO3(-) flows across fields, and by providing predicted crop yield. The new method presented in this study provides improved LCA of crop production at the catchment scale.

  9. [Progress in improvement of continuous monoculture cropping problem in Panax ginseng by controlling soil-borne disease management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Dong, Lin-Lin; Xu, Jiang; Chen, Jun-Wen; Li, Xi-Wen; Chen, Shi-Lin

    2016-11-01

    The continuous monoculture cropping problem severely has hindered the land resource of Panax ginseng cultivation and threatened the sustainable development of ginseng industry. There are comprehensive factors causing the continuous monoculture cropping problem, such as deterioration of soil physical and chemical properties, accumulation of allelochemical, increase of pesticide residue and heavy metal, imbalance of rhizospheric micro-ecosystem, and increase of soil-borne diseases. Among soil-borne disease was one of the key factors. More than 40 soil-borne diseases have been reported in the ginseng cultivation, especially, the diseases were more serious in the ginseng replanting land. Here main soil-borne diseases and their prevention way have been summarized, and we try to provide the effective improvement strategy of continuous monoculture cropping problem focusing on the disease control and offer reference for overcoming the ginseng continuous monoculture cropping problem. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  10. Improvement of crop yield in dry environments: benchmarks, levels of organisation and the role of nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadras, V O; Richards, R A

    2014-05-01

    Crop yield in dry environments can be improved with complementary approaches including selecting for yield in the target environments, selecting for yield potential, and using indirect, trait- or genomic-based methods. This paper (i) outlines the achievements of direct selection for yield in improving drought adaptation, (ii) discusses the limitations of indirect approaches in the context of levels of organization, and (iii) emphasizes trade-offs and synergies between nitrogen nutrition and drought adaptation. Selection for yield in the water- and nitrogen-scarce environments of Australia improved wheat yield per unit transpiration at a rate of 0.12kg ha(-1) mm(-1) yr(-1); for indirect methods to be justified, they must return superior rates of improvement, achieve the same rate at lower cost or provide other cost-effective benefits, such as expanding the genetic basis for selection. Slow improvement of crop adaptation to water stress using indirect methods is partially related to issues of scale. Traits are thus classified into three broad groups: those that generally scale up from low levels of organization to the crop level (e.g. herbicide resistance), those that do not (e.g. grain yield), and traits that might scale up provided they are considered in a integrated manner with scientifically sound scaling assumptions, appropriate growing conditions, and screening techniques (e.g. stay green). Predicting the scalability of traits may help to set priorities in the investment of research efforts. Primary productivity in arid and semi-arid environments is simultaneously limited by water and nitrogen, but few attempts are made to target adaptation to water and nitrogen stress simultaneously. Case studies in wheat and soybean highlight biological links between improved nitrogen nutrition and drought adaptation.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Improving tree establishment with forage crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Holzmueller; Carl W. Mize

    2003-01-01

    Tree establishment in Iowa can be difficult without adequate weed control. Although herbicides are effective at controlling weeds, they may not be desirable in riparian settings and some landowners are opposed to using them. An alternative to herbicides is the use of forage crops to control weeds. A research project was established in 1998 to evaluate the influence of...

  14. The role of Molecular Markers in Improvement of Fruit Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahoor Ahmad BHAT

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Markers have been used over the years for the classification of plants. Markers are any trait of an organism that can be identified with confidence and relative easy, and can be followed in a mapping population on another hand markers be defined as heritable entities associated with the economically important trait under the control of polygenes. Morphological markers can be detected with naked eye (naked eye polymorphism or as difference in physical or chemical properties of the macromolecules. In other words, there are two types of genetic markers viz. morphological markers or naked eye polymorphism and non-morphological markers or molecular markers. Morphological markers include traits such as plant height, disease response, photoperiod, sensitivity, shape or colour of flowers, fruits or seeds etc. Molecular markers include biochemical constituents. Morphological markers have many limitations for being used as markers particularly in fruit crops because of long generation time and large size of fruit trees besides being influenced by environment. Consequently, molecular markers could be appropriate choice to study and preserve the diversity in any germplasm. Molecular markers have diverse applications in fruit crop improvement, particularly in the areas of genetic diversity and varietal identification studies, gene tagging, disease diagnostics, pedigree analysis, hybrid detection, sex differentiation and marker assisted selection.

  15. Improving yield potential in crops under elevated CO(2): Integrating the photosynthetic and nitrogen utilization efficiencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Seneweera, Saman; Rodin, Joakim; Materne, Michael; Burch, David; Rothstein, Steven J; Spangenberg, German

    2012-01-01

    Increasing crop productivity to meet burgeoning human food demand is challenging under changing environmental conditions. Since industrial revolution atmospheric CO(2) levels have linearly increased. Developing crop varieties with increased utilization of CO(2) for photosynthesis is an urgent requirement to cope with the irreversible rise of atmospheric CO(2) and achieve higher food production. The primary effects of elevated CO(2) levels in most crop plants, particularly C(3) plants, include increased biomass accumulation, although initial stimulation of net photosynthesis rate is only temporal and plants fail to sustain the maximal stimulation, a phenomenon known as photosynthesis acclimation. Despite this acclimation, grain yield is known to marginally increase under elevated CO(2). The yield potential of C(3) crops is limited by their capacity to exploit sufficient carbon. The "C fertilization" through elevated CO(2) levels could potentially be used for substantial yield increase. Rubisco is the rate-limiting enzyme in photosynthesis and its activity is largely affected by atmospheric CO(2) and nitrogen availability. In addition, maintenance of the C/N ratio is pivotal for various growth and development processes in plants governing yield and seed quality. For maximizing the benefits of elevated CO(2), raising plant nitrogen pools will be necessary as part of maintaining an optimal C/N balance. In this review, we discuss potential causes for the stagnation in yield increases under elevated CO(2) levels and explore possibilities to overcome this limitation by improved photosynthetic capacity and enhanced nitrogen use efficiency. Opportunities of engineering nitrogen uptake, assimilatory, and responsive genes are also discussed that could ensure optimal nitrogen allocation toward expanding source and sink tissues. This might avert photosynthetic acclimation partially or completely and drive for improved crop production under elevated CO(2) levels.

  16. Improving yield potential in crops under elevated CO2: Integrating the photosynthetic and nitrogen utilization efficiencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Surya; Seneweera, Saman; Rodin, Joakim; Materne, Michael; Burch, David; Rothstein, Steven J.; Spangenberg, German

    2012-01-01

    Increasing crop productivity to meet burgeoning human food demand is challenging under changing environmental conditions. Since industrial revolution atmospheric CO2 levels have linearly increased. Developing crop varieties with increased utilization of CO2 for photosynthesis is an urgent requirement to cope with the irreversible rise of atmospheric CO2 and achieve higher food production. The primary effects of elevated CO2 levels in most crop plants, particularly C3 plants, include increased biomass accumulation, although initial stimulation of net photosynthesis rate is only temporal and plants fail to sustain the maximal stimulation, a phenomenon known as photosynthesis acclimation. Despite this acclimation, grain yield is known to marginally increase under elevated CO2. The yield potential of C3 crops is limited by their capacity to exploit sufficient carbon. The “C fertilization” through elevated CO2 levels could potentially be used for substantial yield increase. Rubisco is the rate-limiting enzyme in photosynthesis and its activity is largely affected by atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen availability. In addition, maintenance of the C/N ratio is pivotal for various growth and development processes in plants governing yield and seed quality. For maximizing the benefits of elevated CO2, raising plant nitrogen pools will be necessary as part of maintaining an optimal C/N balance. In this review, we discuss potential causes for the stagnation in yield increases under elevated CO2 levels and explore possibilities to overcome this limitation by improved photosynthetic capacity and enhanced nitrogen use efficiency. Opportunities of engineering nitrogen uptake, assimilatory, and responsive genes are also discussed that could ensure optimal nitrogen allocation toward expanding source and sink tissues. This might avert photosynthetic acclimation partially or completely and drive for improved crop production under elevated CO2 levels. PMID:22833749

  17. Evaporative demand and water requirements of the principal crops of the Guadalentin valley (SE Spain) in drought periods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez-Toribio, M. I.; Garcia-Marin, R.; Conesa-Garcia, C.; Lopez-Bermudez, F.

    2010-07-01

    The drought periods that affect the province of Murcia, especially the Guadalentin Valley, are aggravated by an increase in evaporative demand. The aim of the present study was to characterize the increased water demand of woody and herbaceous crops during drought periods in the Guadalentin Valley, an agricultural zone with an excellent climate for specialty crops, which is of great economic importance for Murcia. After defining the drought periods of the last three decades in time and space by means of the standard index of rainfall drought (IESP), several methods were used to determine the reference evapotranspiration (ETo): the Penman-Monteith model (ASCE and FAO models for grass), the Hargreaves method (ETo-ASCE for alfalfa), and ETo using the FAO Radiation method. Finally, the crop water requirements for each to crop type and area of cultivation were estimated using monthly crop coefficients (K{sub c}) and the mean monthly evaporative demand values were obtained by the best fitting method. The increase in the evaporative demand reflected the increased water deficits that occur in the drought years, both in summer and winter (1.23 hm{sup 3} yr{sup -}1). Drought periods are also responsible for reducing the areas dedicated to horticultural crops, because of their high water demands and the additional costs involved, resulting an aggravated socioeconomic position and increased unemployment. (Author) 25 refs.

  18. Cross-stratified Wood: Enigmatic Woody Debris Deposits in Warm-Polar Fluvial Sediments (Pliocene Beaufort Formation, Nunavut)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, N. S.; Gosse, J. C.; Rybczynski, N.

    2012-04-01

    Woody debris has been an important sediment component and a significant geomorphic agent in pristine fluvial systems since the Devonian. In recent years a large volume of research has focussed on various aspects of the importance of woody debris within the fluvial realm; from the evolutionary significance of fossil wood accumulations in the rock record to studies of the biogeomorphological and ecological importance of woody debris in modern rivers. In this presentation we describe cross-stratified woody debris deposits comprising organic detritus from a boreal-type treeline forest that included species of pine, birch, poplar, alder, spruce, eastern cedar, and larch, in both shrub and tree form. The cross-stratified wood is an enigmatic subset of fine woody debris which, to our knowledge, has never before been described from either the global stratigraphic record or modern fluvial environments. The deposits we describe are located within the Pliocene Beaufort Formation on Meighen Island, Nunavut, Canada, at a latitude of 80°N, and are compared with other cross-stratified woody debris deposits that have been noted elsewhere in the Pliocene of the Canadian Arctic. We make the robust observation that these deposits appear to be geographically and stratigraphically restricted to polar latitudes from a period of warm climatic conditions during the Pliocene (15-20 °C warmer mean annual temperature than the present day). In this regard it is possible to speculate that the transport of large amounts of woody debris as bedload is potentially a unique feature of forested high latitude rivers. Such bedload deposition requires a large amount of woody debris with a greater density than the fluid transporting it. The softwood composition of the debris suggests that this was most likely attained by saturation and subsequent entrainment of extensive accumulations of deadwood, promoted by unusually high rates of tree mortality and low rates of bacterial decomposition arising from

  19. Principle and application of plant mutagenesis in crop improvement: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuff Oladosu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The first step in plant breeding is to identify suitable genotypes containing the desired genes among existing varieties, or to create one if it is not found in nature. In nature, variation occurs mainly as a result of mutations and without it, plant breeding would be impossible. In this context, the major aim in mutation-based breeding is to develop and improve well-adapted plant varieties by modifying one or two major traits to increase their productivity or quality. Both physical and chemical mutagenesis is used in inducing mutations in seeds and other planting materials. Then, selection for agronomic traits is done in the first generation, whereby most mutant lines may be discarded. The agronomic traits are confirmed in the second and third generations through evident phenotypic stability, while other evaluations are carried out in the subsequent generations. Finally, only the mutant lines with desirable traits are selected as a new variety or as a parent line for cross breeding. New varieties derived by induced mutatgenesis are used worldwide: rice in Vietnam, Thailand, China and the United States; durum wheat in Italy and Bulgaria; barley in Peru and European nations; soybean in Vietnam and China; wheat in China; as well as leguminous food crops in Pakistan and India. This paper integrates available data about the impact of mutation breeding-derived crop varieties around the world and highlights the potential of mutation breeding as a flexible and practicable approach applicable to any crop provided that appropriate objectives and selection methods are used.

  20. Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Martin Stefan; Rasmussen, Kjeld; Peñuelas, Josep

    2017-01-01

    The rapidly growing human population in sub-Saharan Africa generates increasing demand for agricultural land and forest products, which presumably leads to deforestation. Conversely, a greening of African drylands has been reported, but this has been difficult to associate with changes in woody...... an increase in woody cover largely in drylands, and 11% had a decrease (2,150,000 km2), mostly in humid zones. Increases in woody cover were associated with low population growth, and were driven by increases in CO2 in the humid zones and by increases in precipitation in drylands, whereas decreases in woody...... cover were associated with high population growth. The spatially distinct pattern of these opposing trends reflects, first, the natural response of vegetation to precipitation and atmospheric CO2, and second, deforestation in humid areas, minor in size but important for ecosystem services...

  1. Woody plants and the prediction of climate-change impacts on bird diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kissling, W. Daniel; Field, R.; Korntheuer, H.

    2010-01-01

    Current methods of assessing climate-induced shifts of species distributions rarely account for species interactions and usually ignore potential differences in response times of interacting taxa to climate change. Here, we used species-richness data from 1005 breeding bird and 1417 woody plant...... species in Kenya and employed model-averaged coefficients from regression models and median climatic forecasts assembled across 15 climate-change scenarios to predict bird species richness under climate change. Forecasts assuming an instantaneous response of woody plants and birds to climate change...... suggested increases in future bird species richness across most of Kenya whereas forecasts assuming strongly lagged woody plant responses to climate change indicated a reversed trend, i.e. reduced bird species richness. Uncertainties in predictions of future bird species richness were geographically...

  2. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  3. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  4. Estimating yield gaps at the cropping system level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilpart, Nicolas; Grassini, Patricio; Sadras, Victor O; Timsina, Jagadish; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2017-05-01

    Yield gap analyses of individual crops have been used to estimate opportunities for increasing crop production at local to global scales, thus providing information crucial to food security. However, increases in crop production can also be achieved by improving cropping system yield through modification of spatial and temporal arrangement of individual crops. In this paper we define the cropping system yield potential as the output from the combination of crops that gives the highest energy yield per unit of land and time, and the cropping system yield gap as the difference between actual energy yield of an existing cropping system and the cropping system yield potential. Then, we provide a framework to identify alternative cropping systems which can be evaluated against the current ones. A proof-of-concept is provided with irrigated rice-maize systems at four locations in Bangladesh that represent a range of climatic conditions in that country. The proposed framework identified (i) realistic alternative cropping systems at each location, and (ii) two locations where expected improvements in crop production from changes in cropping intensity (number of crops per year) were 43% to 64% higher than from improving the management of individual crops within the current cropping systems. The proposed framework provides a tool to help assess food production capacity of new systems ( e.g. with increased cropping intensity) arising from climate change, and assess resource requirements (water and N) and associated environmental footprint per unit of land and production of these new systems. By expanding yield gap analysis from individual crops to the cropping system level and applying it to new systems, this framework could also be helpful to bridge the gap between yield gap analysis and cropping/farming system design.

  5. Co-pyrolysis behavior of fermentation residues with woody sawdust by thermogravimetric analysis and a vacuum reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yan; Zhang, Yimin; Xu, Jingna; Li, Xiayang; Charles Xu, Chunbao

    2017-12-01

    This study aimed at cost-effective utilization of fermentation residues (FR) from biogas project for bio-energy via co-pyrolysis of FR and woody sawdust (WS). In this study, a vacuum reactor was used to study the pyrolysis behaviors of individual and blend samples of FR and WS. Obvious synergistic effects were observed, resulting in a lower char yield but a higher gas yield. The presence of woody sawdust promoted the devolatilization of FR, and improved the syngas (H 2 and CO) content in the gaseous products. Compared to those of the char from pyrolysis of individual feedstock, co-pyrolysis of FR and WS in the vacuum reactor promoted the cracking reactions of large aromatic rings, enlarged the surface area and reduced the oxygenated groups of the resulted char. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Crimes e pecados: Woody Allen, Hollywood e o cinema independente

    OpenAIRE

    Soares, Marcos; Anjos, Ana Paula B.; Fabris, Marcos

    2012-01-01

    In this essay we propose an analysis of the film Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) by Woody Allen in an attempt to focus on its reflections both on the American independent movie production in the 80’s as well as on the conditions of possibility of Allen’s career. Este ensaio traz uma análise do filme Crimes e Pecados (1989) do cineasta Woody Allen que enfatiza suas reflexões tanto sobre a situação do cinema independente no final dos anos 80 nos Estados...

  7. On the effects attendant on the decrease of the radionuclide contents in woody plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bulko, N.I.; Shabaleva, M.A.; Starovojtova, T.V.

    2002-01-01

    Our experiment on the study of migration and accumulation of radiocesium in woody plants performed on radiation-contaminated forest soils within the greenhouse experiment/microfield experiment/natural forest stand system shows that it is quite possible to influence markedly on the Cs 137 migration within the soil/woody plant system by the purposeful action on water and nutritive regimes of bogs. When fertilizers are applied, a decrease in the Cs 137 contents in woody plants and an increase in growth indices are observed, these being attended with antagonism, dissolution, binding and maximization effects

  8. Integrated crop management practices for maximizing grain yield of double-season rice crop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Depeng; Huang, Jianliang; Nie, Lixiao; Wang, Fei; Ling, Xiaoxia; Cui, Kehui; Li, Yong; Peng, Shaobing

    2017-01-01

    Information on maximum grain yield and its attributes are limited for double-season rice crop grown under the subtropical environment. This study was conducted to examine key characteristics associated with high yielding double-season rice crop through a comparison between an integrated crop management (ICM) and farmers’ practice (FP). Field experiments were conducted in the early and late seasons in the subtropical environment of Wuxue County, Hubei Province, China in 2013 and 2014. On average, grain yield in ICM was 13.5% higher than that in FP. A maximum grain yield of 9.40 and 10.53 t ha-1 was achieved under ICM in the early- and late-season rice, respectively. Yield improvement of double-season rice with ICM was achieved with the combined effects of increased plant density and optimized nutrient management. Yield gain of ICM resulted from a combination of increases in sink size due to more panicle number per unit area and biomass production, further supported by the increased leaf area index, leaf area duration, radiation use efficiency, crop growth rate, and total nitrogen uptake compared with FP. Further enhancement in the yield potential of double-season rice should focus on increasing crop growth rate and biomass production through improved and integrated crop management practices.

  9. Alkaline coal fly ash amendments are recommended for improving rice-peanut crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swain, D.K.; Ghosh, B.C. [Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indi an Inst. of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal (India); Rautaray, S.K. [RRLRRS, Gerua Via-Hajo, Dist-Kamrup, Assam (India)

    2007-05-15

    A field experiment investigating amendments of organic material including farmyard manure, paper factory sludge and crop residues combined with fly ash, lime and chemical fertilizer in a rice-peanut cropping system was conducted during 1997-98 and 1998-99 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. The soil was an acid lateritic (Halustaf) sandy loam. For rice, an N:P:K level of 90:26.2:33.3 kg/ha was supplied through the organic materials and chemical fertilizer to all the treatments except control and fly ash alone. The required quantities of organic materials were added to supply 30 kg N/ha and the balance amount of N, P and K was supplied through chemical fertilizer. Amendment materials as per fertilization treatments were incorporated to individual plots 15 days before planting of rice during the rainy season. The residual effects were studied on the following peanut crop with application of N:P:K at 30:26.2:33.3 kg/ha through chemical fertilizer alone in all treatments, apart from the control. An application of fly ash at 10 t/ha in combination with chemical fertilizer and organic materials increased the grain yield of rice by 11% compared to chemical fertilizer alone. The residual effect of both lime and fly ash applications combined with direct application of chemical fertilizer increased peanut yields by 30% and 24%, respectively, compared to chemical fertilizer alone. Treatments with fly ash or lime increased P and K uptake in both the crops and oil content in peanut kernel compared to those without the amendments. Alkaline coal fly ash proved to be a better amendment than lime for improving productivity of an acid lateritic soil and enriching the soil with P and K.

  10. Minichromosomes: Vectors for Crop Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon P. Cody

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Minichromosome technology has the potential to offer a number of possibilities for expanding current biofortification strategies. While conventional genome manipulations rely on random integration of one or a few genes, engineered minichromosomes would enable researchers to concatenate several gene aggregates into a single independent chromosome. These engineered minichromosomes can be rapidly transferred as a unit to other lines through the utilization of doubled haploid breeding. If used in conjunction with other biofortification methods, it may be possible to significantly increase the nutritional value of crops.

  11. Physiology of woody plants

    CERN Document Server

    Hazewinkel, Michiel; Pallardy, Stephen G

    1996-01-01

    This completely revised classic volume is an up-to-date synthesis of the intensive research devoted to woody plants. Intended primarily as a text for students and a reference for researchers, this interdisciplinary book should be useful to a broad range of scientists from agroforesters, agronomists, and arborists to plant pathologists, ecophysiologists, and soil scientists. Anyone interested in plant physiology will find this text invaluable. Key Features * Includes supplementary chapter summaries and lists of general references * Provides a solid foundation of reference information * Thoroughly updated classic text/reference.

  12. Energy performances of intensive and extensive short rotation cropping systems for woody biomass production in the EU

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Djomo, S. N.; Ač, Alexander; Zenone, T.; De Groote, T.; Bergante, S.; Facciotto, G.; Sixto, H.; Ciria Ciria, P.; Weger, J.; Ceulemans, R.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 41, jan (2015), s. 845-854 ISSN 1364-0321 R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.30.0056 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : poplar * willow * bioenergy crops * energy balance * energy efficiency Subject RIV: GC - Agronomy Impact factor: 6.798, year: 2015

  13. Water balance and fertigation for crop improvement in West Asia. Results of a technical co-operation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    Mediterranean countries have a severe shortage of water resources for agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes. This situation is aggravated daily due to the rapidly increasing population in the area. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water with about 80% of the renewable resource used for irrigation. Traditional irrigation methods are highly inefficient: only about one-third of the applied water is actually transpired by the crops. Clearly, there is great scope for improved irrigation management. Intensification of agricultural production to meet growing market demand requires the simultaneous application of irrigation water and fertilizers. Application of fertilizer in drip irrigation (fertigation) is an effective way to promote efficient use of these scarce and expensive resources. There is widespread interest in Mediterranean countries in fertigation. Nevertheless, information on the form and concentration of the nutrients required for different crops is presently inadequate. Moreover, the low fertilizer recoveries due to extensive fertilization practiced during the last few decades have created serious agricultural and environmental problems. High nitrate concentrations in groundwater and deterioration of some important quality parameters of agricultural products are the main concerns. Recognizing the potential role of nuclear techniques in identifying improved water and fertilizer management practices, the IAEA implemented two regional technical co-operation projects during the period 1995-2000 with eight participating countries from the West Asia region: The Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Syria Arab Republic, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The main objective was to establish water balance and fertigation practices using nuclear techniques, with a view to improving crop production in arid and semi-arid zones. The projects aimed to compare the following parameters under conventional fertilizer and water

  14. Effects of topoclimatic complexity on the composition of woody plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldfather, Meagan F; Britton, Matthew N; Papper, Prahlad D; Koontz, Michael J; Halbur, Michelle M; Dodge, Celeste; Flint, Alan L; Flint, Lorriane E; Ackerly, David D

    2016-01-01

    Topography can create substantial environmental variation at fine spatial scales. Shaped by slope, aspect, hill-position and elevation, topoclimate heterogeneity may increase ecological diversity, and act as a spatial buffer for vegetation responding to climate change. Strong links have been observed between climate heterogeneity and species diversity at broader scales, but the importance of topoclimate for woody vegetation across small spatial extents merits closer examination. We established woody vegetation monitoring plots in mixed evergreen-deciduous woodlands that spanned topoclimate gradients of a topographically heterogeneous landscape in northern California. We investigated the association between the structure of adult and regenerating size classes of woody vegetation and multidimensional topoclimate at a fine scale. We found a significant effect of topoclimate on both single-species distributions and community composition. Effects of topoclimate were evident in the regenerating size class for all dominant species (four Quercus spp., Umbellularia californica and Pseudotsuga menziesii) but only in two dominant species (Quercus agrifolia and Quercus garryana) for the adult size class. Adult abundance was correlated with water balance parameters (e.g. climatic water deficit) and recruit abundance was correlated with an interaction between the topoclimate parameters and conspecific adult abundance (likely reflecting local seed dispersal). However, in all cases, the topoclimate signal was weak. The magnitude of environmental variation across our study site may be small relative to the tolerance of long-lived woody species. Dispersal limitations, management practices and patchy disturbance regimes also may interact with topoclimate, weakening its influence on woody vegetation distributions. Our study supports the biological relevance of multidimensional topoclimate for mixed woodland communities, but highlights that this relationship might be mediated by

  15. DETERMINATION OF CRYSTALLINITY INDEX OF CARBOHYDRATE COMPONENTS IN HEMP (CANNABIS SATIVA L. WOODY CORE BY MEANS OF FT-IR SPECTROSCOPY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esat Gümüşkaya

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study; it was investigated chemical compositions of hemp woody core and changes in crystallinity index of its carbohydrate components by using FT-IR spectroscopy was investigated. It was determined that carbohyrate components ratio in hemp woody core were similar to that in hard wood, but lignin content in hemp woody core was higher than in hard wood. Crystallinity index of carbohydrate components in hemp woody core increased by removing amorphous components. It was designated that monoclinic structure in hemp woody core and its carbohydrate components was dominant, but triclinic ratio increased by treated chemical isolation of carbohydrate from hemp woody core.

  16. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-d...

  17. 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.

  18. Potential of in vitro mutation breeding for the improvement of vegetatively propagated crop plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Constantin, M.J.

    1984-01-01

    Significant progress has been realized in a number of technologies (e.g., protoplast cultures), collectively referred to as plant cell and tissue culture, within the last decade. In vitro culture technologies offer great potentials for the improvement of crop plants, both sexually and asexually propagated; however, to realize these potentials plant regeneration from selected cells must be achieved for the species of interest. Where whole plants have been regenerated from selected cells, the mutant trait was expressed in some but not in all cases, and the inheritance patterns included maternal, recessive, semi-dominant and dominant (epigenetic events have also been reported). Improved cultivars of sugarcane have been developed from in vitro culture selections. In vitro mutation breeding can be done using an array of physical and chemical mutagens that has been found to be effective in the treatment of seeds, pollen, vegetative plant parts and growing plants. Selection at the cell level for a range of mutant traits has been demonstrated; however, innovative selection schemes will have to be developed to select for agriculturally important traits such as date of maturity, resistance to lodging, height etc. An interdisciplinary team approach involving the combined use of in vitro culture technology, mutagenesis, and plant breeding/genetics offers the greatest probability for success in crop improvement. (author)

  19. Solid waste management with the help of vermicomposting and its applications in crop improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nandita Mehta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Management of solid waste has become one of the biggest problems that we are facing today. Vermicomposting is the better option to tackle with this problem. Vermicomposting is the process of conversion of organic wastes by earthworms to valuable humus like material which is used as a natural soil conditioner. Vermicomposting is environment friendly and cost effective technique for solid waste management. Vermicomposting serves two main purposes for the welfare of humans as it helps in the degradation of solid waste and the cast produced during this process is used as a natural fertilizer. Vermicompost is much better than chemical fertilizer because it is not associated with any kind of risk. Earthworms are potentially important creatures that are capable of transforming garbage into gold. Eisenia fetida is the most commonly used species of earthworms for vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is a mesophilic process and should be maintained up to 32°C with the moisture content of 60-80%. Earthworms break down organic matter and leave behind castings that are an exceptionally valuable fertilizer. Vermicomposting has many applications in crop improvement such as pathogen destruction, water holding capacity of soil, improved crop growth and yield, improved soil physical, chemical and biological properties and production of plant growth regulators.

  20. Assessing the Roles of Fire Frequency and Precipitation in Determining Woody Plant Expansion in Central U.S. Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunsell, N. A.; Van Vleck, E. S.; Nosshi, M.; Ratajczak, Z.; Nippert, J. B.

    2017-10-01

    Woody plant expansion into grasslands and savannas is occurring and accelerating worldwide and often impacts ecosystem processes. Understanding and predicting the environmental and ecological impacts of encroachment has led to a variety of methodologies for assessing its onset, transition, and stability, generally relying on dynamical systems approaches. Here we continue this general line of investigation to facilitate the understanding of the roles of precipitation frequency and intensity and fire frequency on the conversion of grasslands to woody-dominated systems focusing on the central United States. A low-dimensional model with stochastic precipitation and fire disturbance is introduced to examine the complex interactions between precipitation and fire as mechanisms that may suppress or facilitate increases in woody cover. By using Lyapunov exponents, we are able to ascertain the relative control exerted on woody encroachment through these mechanisms. Our results indicate that precipitation frequency is a more important control on woody encroachment than the intensity of individual precipitation events. Fire, however, exerts a much more dominant impact on the limitation of encroachment over the range of precipitation variability considered here. These results indicate that fire management may be an effective strategy to slow the onset of woody species into grasslands. While climate change might predict a reduced potential for woody encroachment in the near future, these results indicate a reduction in woody fraction may be unlikely when considering anthropogenic fire suppression.

  1. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Hashem, Abeer; Abd_Allah, Elsayed F.

    2017-01-01

    the activation of the antioxidant and defense systems. Bacillus association stimulates plant immunity against stresses by altering stress-responsive genes, proteins, phytohormones and related metabolites. This review describes the beneficial effect of Bacillus spp. on crop plants, which improves plant productivity under unfavorable climatic conditions, and the current understanding of the mitigation mechanism of Bacillus spp. in stress-tolerant and/or stress-resistant plants. PMID:28932199

  2. Bacillus: A Biological Tool for Crop Improvement through Bio-Molecular Changes in Adverse Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Radhakrishnan

    2017-09-01

    , nutrient up-take and the activation of the antioxidant and defense systems. Bacillus association stimulates plant immunity against stresses by altering stress-responsive genes, proteins, phytohormones and related metabolites. This review describes the beneficial effect of Bacillus spp. on crop plants, which improves plant productivity under unfavorable climatic conditions, and the current understanding of the mitigation mechanism of Bacillus spp. in stress-tolerant and/or stress-resistant plants.

  3. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: considerations for sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl C. Trettin; Devendra Amatya; Mark Coleman

    2008-01-01

    Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and...

  4. The effective use of physical and chemical mutagen in the induction of mutation for crop improvement in Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdul Rahim Harun

    2001-01-01

    The earliest work of induced mutations breeding program in Malaysia was reported in 1967. The project was carried out by Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia using x-radiation in an attempt to improve rubber trees for dwarfism and disease resistance. Subsequently, more efforts were taken up by the universities to promote the technology for genetic changes and creation of new genetic resources, particularly in crops that are not easily achievable through conventional techniques. Gamma radiation is always been used as physical mutagen, while ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) was a popular chemical mutagen used in induced mutation breeding in the country. Gamma rays is an effective mutagen to which more than 30 potential mutants were produced up to now through mutagenesis of several important food crops and ornamental plants. Although chemical mutagen such as EMS were reported being used, the result is not so convincing as compared to gamma radiation. Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT) has initiated and promoted nuclear technique in mutation breeding for the improvement of importance food crops such as rice, legume and other potential crops for export, like fruit trees and ornamentals. Gamma radiation is the main source of mutagen used in mutation-breeding programme at MINT. The effectiveness of these two mutagens were verified with mutants derived through induced mutation breeding in the country which some mutant has shown outstanding improvement and released as new varieties and cultivars. This paper summarises and discuss the effects as well as achievement attained through the use of ionizing radiation and chemical mutagen in plant mutation breeding in Malaysia. (author)

  5. The effective use of physical and chemical mutagen in the induction of mutation for crop improvement in Malaysia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdul Rahim Harun [Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research, Bangi, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2001-03-01

    The earliest work of induced mutations breeding program in Malaysia was reported in 1967. The project was carried out by Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia using x-radiation in an attempt to improve rubber trees for dwarfism and disease resistance. Subsequently, more efforts were taken up by the universities to promote the technology for genetic changes and creation of new genetic resources, particularly in crops that are not easily achievable through conventional techniques. Gamma radiation is always been used as physical mutagen, while ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) was a popular chemical mutagen used in induced mutation breeding in the country. Gamma rays is an effective mutagen to which more than 30 potential mutants were produced up to now through mutagenesis of several important food crops and ornamental plants. Although chemical mutagen such as EMS were reported being used, the result is not so convincing as compared to gamma radiation. Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT) has initiated and promoted nuclear technique in mutation breeding for the improvement of importance food crops such as rice, legume and other potential crops for export, like fruit trees and ornamentals. Gamma radiation is the main source of mutagen used in mutation-breeding programme at MINT. The effectiveness of these two mutagens were verified with mutants derived through induced mutation breeding in the country which some mutant has shown outstanding improvement and released as new varieties and cultivars. This paper summarises and discuss the effects as well as achievement attained through the use of ionizing radiation and chemical mutagen in plant mutation breeding in Malaysia. (author)

  6. Structure and composition of woody vegetation in two important bird areas in southern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gandiwa, P.; Chinoitezvi, E.; Gandiwa, E.

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed the status of woody vegetation structure and composition in two Important Bird Areas (IBA) i.e. Manjinji Pan and Save-Runde Junction located in southeastern Zimbabwe. The objectives of this study were to: (i) determine the woody vegetation structure and composition of the study

  7. Improvement of pulse crops through induced mutations: Reconstruction of plant type

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rao, C.H.; Tickoo, J.L.; Ram, H.; Jain, H.K.

    1975-01-01

    Many species of grain legumes, because of their cultivation under marginal conditions for centuries, have retained a number of semi-wild characteristics, such as a bushy and spreading growth, which contribute to their adaptability but reduce their yields. The observations presented here indicate that induced mutations may prove effective in generating new plant-types in these crops, which are marked by an improvement in the harvest index and which will show a response to increased plant densities. The present report describes observations on the M 2 progenies of pigeon pea and mung bean on which work has been initiated. (author)

  8. Improvements in crop water productivity increase water sustainability and food security—a global analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brauman, Kate A; Foley, Jonathan A; Siebert, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Irrigation consumes more water than any other human activity, and thus the challenges of water sustainability and food security are closely linked. To evaluate how water resources are used for food production, we examined global patterns of water productivity—food produced (kcal) per unit of water (l) consumed. We document considerable variability in crop water productivity globally, not only across different climatic zones but also within climatic zones. The least water productive systems are disproportionate freshwater consumers. On precipitation-limited croplands, we found that ∼40% of water consumption goes to production of just 20% of food calories. Because in many cases crop water productivity is well below optimal levels, in many cases farmers have substantial opportunities to improve water productivity. To demonstrate the potential impact of management interventions, we calculated that raising crop water productivity in precipitation-limited regions to the 20th percentile of productivity would increase annual production on rainfed cropland by enough to provide food for an estimated 110 million people, and water consumption on irrigated cropland would be reduced enough to meet the annual domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion people. (letter)

  9. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; DiManno, Nicole; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of "nurse plants" an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  10. Utilization characteristics and importance of woody biomass resources on the rural-urban fringe in botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkambwe, Musisi; Sekhwela, Mogodisheng B M

    2006-02-01

    This article examines the utilization characteristics and importance of woody biomass resources in the rural-urban fringe zones of Botswana. In the literature for Africa, attention has been given to the availability and utilization of biomass in either urban or rural environments, but the rural-urban fringe has been neglected. Within southern Africa, this neglect is not justified; the rural-urban fringe, not getting the full benefits available in urban environments in Botswana, has developed problems in woody biomass availability and utilization that require close attention. In this article, socioeconomic data on the importance of woody biomass in the Batlokwa Tribal Territory, on the rural-urban fringe of Gaborone, Botswana, were collected together with ecologic data that reveal the utilization characteristics and potential for regrowth of woody biomass. The analysis of these results show that local woody biomass is very important in the daily lives of communities in the rural-urban fringe zones and that there is a high level of harvesting. However, there is no effort in planning land use in the tribal territory to either conserve this resource or provide alternatives to its utilization. The future of woody biomass resources in Botswana's rural-urban fringe is uncertain. The investigators recommend that a comprehensive policy for the development of the rural-urban fringe consider the importance of this resource. The neglect of this resource will have far-reaching implications on the livelihoods of residents as well as the environment in this zone.

  11. Crop Model Improvement Reduces the Uncertainty of the Response to Temperature of Multi-Model Ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiorano, Andrea; Martre, Pierre; Asseng, Senthold; Ewert, Frank; Mueller, Christoph; Roetter, Reimund P.; Ruane, Alex C.; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Wallach, Daniel; Wang, Enli

    2016-01-01

    To improve climate change impact estimates and to quantify their uncertainty, multi-model ensembles (MMEs) have been suggested. Model improvements can improve the accuracy of simulations and reduce the uncertainty of climate change impact assessments. Furthermore, they can reduce the number of models needed in a MME. Herein, 15 wheat growth models of a larger MME were improved through re-parameterization and/or incorporating or modifying heat stress effects on phenology, leaf growth and senescence, biomass growth, and grain number and size using detailed field experimental data from the USDA Hot Serial Cereal experiment (calibration data set). Simulation results from before and after model improvement were then evaluated with independent field experiments from a CIMMYT worldwide field trial network (evaluation data set). Model improvements decreased the variation (10th to 90th model ensemble percentile range) of grain yields simulated by the MME on average by 39% in the calibration data set and by 26% in the independent evaluation data set for crops grown in mean seasonal temperatures greater than 24 C. MME mean squared error in simulating grain yield decreased by 37%. A reduction in MME uncertainty range by 27% increased MME prediction skills by 47%. Results suggest that the mean level of variation observed in field experiments and used as a benchmark can be reached with half the number of models in the MME. Improving crop models is therefore important to increase the certainty of model-based impact assessments and allow more practical, i.e. smaller MMEs to be used effectively.

  12. Environmental determinants of woody plant diversity at a regional scale in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Qian

    Full Text Available Understanding what drives the geographic variation of species richness across the globe is a fundamental goal of ecology and biogeography. Environmental variables have been considered as drivers of global diversity patterns but there is no consensus among ecologists on what environmental variables are primary drivers of the geographic variation of species richness. Here, I examine the relationship of woody plant species richness at a regional scale in China with sixteen environmental variables representing energy availability, water availability, energy-water balance, seasonality, and habitat heterogeneity. I found that temperature seasonality is the best predictor of woody species richness in China. Other important environmental variables include annual precipitation, mean temperature of the coldest month, and potential evapotranspiration. The best model explains 85% of the variation in woody plant species richness at the regional scale in China.

  13. CHROMOSOMES OF WOODY SPECIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio R Daviña

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Chromosome numbers of nine subtropical woody species collected in Argentina and Paraguay are reported. The counts tor Coutarea hexandra (2n=52, Inga vera subsp. affinis 2n=26 (Fabaceae and Chorisia speciosa 2n=86 (Bombacaceae are reported for the first time. The chromosome number given for Inga semialata 2n=52 is a new cytotype different from the previously reported. Somatic chromosome numbers of the other taxa studied are: Sesbania punicea 2n=12, S. virgata 2n=12 and Pilocarpus pennatifolius 2n=44 from Argentina

  14. Lidar-derived estimate and uncertainty of carbon sink in successional phases of woody encroachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Temuulen; Shrestha, Rupesh; Sankey, Joel B.; Hardgree, Stuart; Strand, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Woody encroachment is a globally occurring phenomenon that contributes to the global carbon sink. The magnitude of this contribution needs to be estimated at regional and local scales to address uncertainties present in the global- and continental-scale estimates, and guide regional policy and management in balancing restoration activities, including removal of woody plants, with greenhouse gas mitigation goals. The objective of this study was to estimate carbon stored in various successional phases of woody encroachment. Using lidar measurements of individual trees, we present high-resolution estimates of aboveground carbon storage in juniper woodlands. Segmentation analysis of lidar point cloud data identified a total of 60,628 juniper tree crowns across four watersheds. Tree heights, canopy cover, and density derived from lidar were strongly correlated with field measurements of 2613 juniper stems measured in 85 plots (30 × 30 m). Aboveground total biomass of individual trees was estimated using a regression model with lidar-derived height and crown area as predictors (Adj. R2 = 0.76, p 2. Uncertainty in carbon storage estimates was examined with a Monte Carlo approach that addressed major error sources. Ranges predicted with uncertainty analysis in the mean, individual tree, aboveground woody C, and associated standard deviation were 0.35 – 143.6 kg and 0.5 – 1.25 kg, respectively. Later successional phases of woody encroachment had, on average, twice the aboveground carbon relative to earlier phases. Woody encroachment might be more successfully managed and balanced with carbon storage goals by identifying priority areas in earlier phases of encroachment where intensive treatments are most effective.

  15. 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...

  16. The potential impact of invasive woody oil plants on protected areas in China under future climate conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Guanghui; Yang, Jun; Lu, Siran; Huang, Conghong; Jin, Jing; Jiang, Peng; Yan, Pengbo

    2018-01-18

    Biodiesel produced from woody oil plants is considered a green substitute for fossil fuels. However, a potential negative impact of growing woody oil plants on a large scale is the introduction of highly invasive species into susceptible regions. In this study, we examined the potential invasion risk of woody oil plants in China's protected areas under future climate conditions. We simulated the current and future potential distributions of three invasive woody oil plants, Jatropha curcas, Ricinus communis, and Aleurites moluccana, under two climate change scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5) up to 2050 using species distribution models. Protected areas in China that will become susceptible to these species were then identified using a spatial overlay analysis. Our results showed that by 2050, 26 and 41 protected areas would be threatened by these invasive woody oil plants under scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. A total of 10 unique forest ecosystems and 17 rare plant species could be potentially affected. We recommend that the invasive potential of woody oil plants be fully accounted for when developing forest-based biodiesel, especially around protected areas.

  17. Seed production of woody plants in conditions of environment pollution by metallurgical industry emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. V. Gritzay

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The influence of environment pollution by metallurgical industry emissions on woody plants bearing parameters was examined. The results obtained show the decrease of bearing rate, diminution of seeds, fruits and seed cells sizes in woody plants affected by technogenic emissions. Attenuation of the 1000 seeds’ weight was established. Incresing the amount of fruits with development deviations was ascertained. It was found aplasia and abnormal form of the samara fruit of ash and ailanthus trees, arcuation and narrowing of some parts of the catalpa fruitcases. Practical recommendations on using seeds’ sensitive parameters in biomonitoring of woody phytocenoses under technogenic stressful conditions are proposed.

  18. The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekonnen, Mesfin; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert

    2011-01-01

    This study quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprint of global crop production in a spatially-explicit way for the period 1996–2005. The assessment improves upon earlier research by taking a high-resolution approach, estimating the water footprint of 126 crops at a 5 by 5 arc minute grid.

  19. Perspectives on screening winter-flood-tolerant woody species in the riparian protection forests of the three gorges reservoir.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Wang, Yong; Chan, Zhulong

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of riparian protection forests in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) is an ideal measure to cope with the eco-environmental problems of the water-level fluctuation zone (WLFZ). Thus, the information for screening winter-flood-tolerant woody plant species is useful for the recovery and re-establishment of the riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ. Therefore, we discussed the possibilities of constructing and popularizing riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ from several aspects, including the woody plant species distribution in the WLFZ, the survival rate analyses of suitable candidate woody species under controlled flooding conditions, the survival rate investigation of some woody plant species planted in the TGR WLFZ, and the physiological responses of some woody plant species during the recovery stage after winter floods. The results of woody species investigation showed that most woody plant species that existed as annual seedlings in the TGR WLFZ are not suitable candidates for the riparian protection forests. However, arbor species (e.g., Salix matsudana, Populus×canadensis, Morus alba, Pterocarya stenoptera, Taxodium ascendens, and Metasequoia glyptostroboides) and shrub species (e.g., Salix variegata, Distylium chinensis, Lycium chinense, Myricaria laxiflora, and Rosa multiflora) might be considered suitable candidates for the riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ by survival rate analyses under controlled winter flooding conditions, and survival rate investigations of woody plant species planted in the TGR WLFZ, respectively. Physiological analyses showed that P.×canadensis, M. alba, L. chinense, and S. variegata could develop specific self-repairing mechanisms to stimulate biomass accumulation and carbohydrate synthesis via the increases in chlorophyll pigments and photosynthesis during recovery after winter floods. Our results suggested these woody plant species could endure the winter flooding stress and recover well

  20. Perspectives on screening winter-flood-tolerant woody species in the riparian protection forests of the three gorges reservoir.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Yang

    Full Text Available The establishment of riparian protection forests in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR is an ideal measure to cope with the eco-environmental problems of the water-level fluctuation zone (WLFZ. Thus, the information for screening winter-flood-tolerant woody plant species is useful for the recovery and re-establishment of the riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ. Therefore, we discussed the possibilities of constructing and popularizing riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ from several aspects, including the woody plant species distribution in the WLFZ, the survival rate analyses of suitable candidate woody species under controlled flooding conditions, the survival rate investigation of some woody plant species planted in the TGR WLFZ, and the physiological responses of some woody plant species during the recovery stage after winter floods. The results of woody species investigation showed that most woody plant species that existed as annual seedlings in the TGR WLFZ are not suitable candidates for the riparian protection forests. However, arbor species (e.g., Salix matsudana, Populus×canadensis, Morus alba, Pterocarya stenoptera, Taxodium ascendens, and Metasequoia glyptostroboides and shrub species (e.g., Salix variegata, Distylium chinensis, Lycium chinense, Myricaria laxiflora, and Rosa multiflora might be considered suitable candidates for the riparian protection forests in the TGR WLFZ by survival rate analyses under controlled winter flooding conditions, and survival rate investigations of woody plant species planted in the TGR WLFZ, respectively. Physiological analyses showed that P.×canadensis, M. alba, L. chinense, and S. variegata could develop specific self-repairing mechanisms to stimulate biomass accumulation and carbohydrate synthesis via the increases in chlorophyll pigments and photosynthesis during recovery after winter floods. Our results suggested these woody plant species could endure the winter flooding stress

  1. Canaryseed Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Cogliatti

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Canaryseed (Phalaris canariensis L. is a graminaceous crop species with production practices and cycle similar to those of other winter cereal crops such as spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and oat (Avena sativa L.. Currently its grains are used almost exclusively as feed for birds, alone or mixed with other grains like millet, sunflower seed, and flaxseed. Canaryseed is a genuine cereal with a unique composition that suggests its potential for food use. P. canariensis is cultivated in many areas of temperate climates. Currently, its production is concentrated in the southwestern provinces of Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and on a smaller scale in Argentina, Thailand and Australia. Globally it is considered to be a minor crop with regional relevance, with a production about of 250000 tonnes per year, which restricts private investment and public research on its genetic and technological improvement. For this reason, the type of crop management that is applied to this species largely depends on innovations made in other similar crops. This work provides an updated summary of the available information on the species: its requirements, distribution, genetic resources, cultivation practices, potential uses, marketing and other topics of interest to researchers and producers.

  2. Winter cover crop effect on corn seedling pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cover crops are an excellent management tool to improve the sustainability of agriculture. Winter rye cover crops have been used successfully in Iowa corn-soybean rotations. Unfortunately, winter rye cover crops occasionally reduce yields of the following corn crop. We hypothesize that one potential...

  3. Predicting duff and woody fuel consumed by prescribed fire in the Northern Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    James K. Brown; Michael A. Marsden; Kevin C. Ryan; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

    1985-01-01

    Relationships for predicting duff reduction, mineral soil exposure, and consumption of downed woody fuel were determined to assist in planning prescribed fires. Independent variables included lower and entire duff moisture contents, loadings of downed woody fuels, duff depth, National Fire-Danger Rating System 1,000-hour moisture content, and Canadian Duff Moisture...

  4. Acetylation of woody lignocellulose: significance and regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prashant Mohan-Anupama Pawar

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Non-cellulosic cell wall polysaccharides constitute approximately one quarter of usable biomass for human exploitation. In contrast to cellulose, these components are usually substituted by O-acetyl groups, which affect their properties and interactions with other polymers, thus affecting their solubility and extractability. However, details of these interactions are still largely obscure. Moreover, polysaccharide hydrolysis to constituent monosaccharides, is hampered by the presence of O-acetyl groups, necessitating either enzymatic (esterase or chemical de-acetylation, increasing the costs and chemical consumption. Reduction of polysaccharide acetyl content in planta is a way to modify lignocellulose towards improved saccharification. In this review we: 1 summarize literature on lignocellulose acetylation in different tree species, 2 present data and current hypotheses concerning the role of O-acetylation in determining woody lignocellulose properties, 3 describe plant proteins involved in lignocellulose O-acetylation, 4 give examples of microbial enzymes capable to de-acetylate lignocellulose, and 5 discuss prospects for exploiting these enzymes in planta to modify xylan acetylation.

  5. Utility of T-DNA insertion mutagenesis in arabidopsis for crop improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feldmann, K A [Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Plant Sciences

    1995-11-01

    T-DNA insertion mutagenesis in Arabidopsis is an efficient and expedient method for isolating genes that may have agronomic importance in crop plants. More than 14,000 transformants, with an average of 1.5 inserts per transformant, have been generated in the laboratory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, United States of America. Assuming that the genome of Arabidopsis is 100 Mb and that insertion is random, there is a greater than 50% probability that any particular gene has been tagged in this population. These transformed lines have been screened for any visible alteration in phenotype. In addition, they have been screened under numerous selective regimes such as cold tolerance, auxin and ethylene resistance or sensitivity, and nitrate utilization, among many others. Twenty per cent of these transformants segregate for some type of mutation. Approximately 40% of these are due to T-DNA insertion. Genes have already been cloned from various developmental and biochemical pathways, including flower, root and trichome morphology, light and ethylene regulated growth, fatty acid desaturation and epicuticular wax (EW) production. Some of the isolated genes are being introduced into agronomic species in an attempt to improve specific traits. For example, two genes important in EW production have been introduced into Brassica oleracea (broccoli) to modify the nature of the EW such that engineered plants will show greater resistance to herbivorous insects. Similarly, genes involved in fatty acid desaturation, male sterility, height or nitrogen metabolism, to mention only a few, could also be utilized to improve certain crop traits via genetic engineering. Several of these examples are described. (author). 57 refs, 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  6. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.; DiManno, Nicole; D’Antonio, Carla M.

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of “nurse plants” an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  7. 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.

  8. Using modern plant breeding to improve the nutritional and technological qualities of oil crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murphy Denis J.

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The last few decades have seen huge advances in our understanding of plant biology and in the development of new technologies for the manipulation of crop plants. The application of relatively straightforward breeding and selection methods made possible the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s that effectively doubled or trebled cereal production in much of the world and averted mass famine in Asia. During the 2000s, much attention has been focused on genomic approaches to plant breeding with the deployment of a new generation of technologies, such as marker-assisted selection, next-generation sequencing, transgenesis (genetic engineering or GM and automatic mutagenesis/selection (TILLING, TargetIng Local Lesions IN Genomes. These methods are now being applied to a wide range of crops and have particularly good potential for oil crop improvement in terms of both overall food and non-food yield and nutritional and technical quality of the oils. Key targets include increasing overall oil yield and stability on a per seed or per fruit basis and very high oleic acid content in seed and fruit oils for both premium edible and oleochemical applications. Other more specialised targets include oils enriched in nutritionally desirable “fish oil”-like fatty acids, especially very long chain !-3 acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, or increased levels of lipidic vitamins such as carotenoids, tocopherols and tocotrienes. Progress in producing such oils in commercial crops has been good in recent years with several varieties being released or at advanced stages of development.

  9. Lidar-derived estimate and uncertainty of carbon sink in successional phases of woody encroachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Temuulen; Shrestha, Rupesh; Sankey, Joel B.; Hardegree, Stuart; Strand, Eva

    2013-07-01

    encroachment is a globally occurring phenomenon that contributes to the global carbon sink. The magnitude of this contribution needs to be estimated at regional and local scales to address uncertainties present in the global- and continental-scale estimates, and guide regional policy and management in balancing restoration activities, including removal of woody plants, with greenhouse gas mitigation goals. The objective of this study was to estimate carbon stored in various successional phases of woody encroachment. Using lidar measurements of individual trees, we present high-resolution estimates of aboveground carbon storage in juniper woodlands. Segmentation analysis of lidar point cloud data identified a total of 60,628 juniper tree crowns across four watersheds. Tree heights, canopy cover, and density derived from lidar were strongly correlated with field measurements of 2613 juniper stems measured in 85 plots (30 × 30 m). Aboveground total biomass of individual trees was estimated using a regression model with lidar-derived height and crown area as predictors (Adj. R2 = 0.76, p < 0.001, RMSE = 0.58 kg). The predicted mean aboveground woody carbon storage for the study area was 677 g/m2. Uncertainty in carbon storage estimates was examined with a Monte Carlo approach that addressed major error sources. Ranges predicted with uncertainty analysis in the mean, individual tree, aboveground woody C, and associated standard deviation were 0.35 - 143.6 kg and 0.5 - 1.25 kg, respectively. Later successional phases of woody encroachment had, on average, twice the aboveground carbon relative to earlier phases. Woody encroachment might be more successfully managed and balanced with carbon storage goals by identifying priority areas in earlier phases of encroachment where intensive treatments are most effective.

  10. Species composition and diversity of non-forest woody vegetation along roads in the agricultural landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tóth Attila

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Non-forest woody vegetation represents an important component of green infrastructure in the agricultural landscape, where natural and semi-natural forest cover has only a low land use proportion. This paper focuses on linear woody vegetation structures along roads in the agricultural landscape and analyses them in three study areas in the Nitra Region, Slovakia. We evaluate species composition and diversity, species occurrence frequency or spatial distribution, their structure according to relatively achievable age and origin. For the evaluation of occurrence frequency, a Frequency Factor was proposed and applied. This factor allows a better comparison of different study areas and results in more representative findings. The study areas were divided into sectors based on visual landscape features, which are easily identifiable in the field, such as intersections and curves in roads, and intersections of roads with other features, such as cadastral or land boundaries, watercourses, etc. Based on the species abundance, woody plants present within the sectors were categorised into 1 predominant, 2 complementary and 3 mixed-in species; and with regard to their origin into 1 autochthonous and 2 allochthonous. Further, trees were categorised into 1 long-lived, 2 medium-lived and 3 short-lived tree species. The main finding is that among trees, mainly allochthonous species dominated. Robinia pseudoacacia L. was the predominant tree species in all three study areas. It was up to 4 times more frequent than other predominant tree species. Introduced tree species prevailed also among complementary and mixed-in species. Among shrubs, mainly native species dominated, while non-native species had a significantly lower proportion and spatial distribution. Based on these findings, several measures have been proposed to improve the overall ecological stability, the proportion and spatial distribution of native woody plant species. The recommendations and

  11. Spatial modeling of potential woody biomass flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodam Chung; Nathaniel Anderson

    2012-01-01

    The flow of woody biomass to end users is determined by economic factors, especially the amount available across a landscape and delivery costs of bioenergy facilities. The objective of this study develop methodology to quantify landscape-level stocks and potential biomass flows using the currently available spatial database road network analysis tool. We applied this...

  12. Storage of Maize in Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) Bags.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Scott B; Murdock, Larry L; Baributsa, Dieudonne

    2017-01-01

    Interest in using hermetic technologies as a pest management solution for stored grain has risen in recent years. One hermetic approach, Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags, has proven successful in controlling the postharvest pests of cowpea. This success encouraged farmers to use of PICS bags for storing other crops including maize. To assess whether maize can be safely stored in PICS bags without loss of quality, we carried out laboratory studies of maize grain infested with Sitophilus zeamais (Motshulsky) and stored in PICS triple bags or in woven polypropylene bags. Over an eight month observation period, temperatures in the bags correlated with ambient temperature for all treatments. Relative humidity inside PICS bags remained constant over this period despite the large changes that occurred in the surrounding environment. Relative humidity in the woven bags followed ambient humidity closely. PICS bags containing S. zeamais-infested grain saw a significant decline in oxygen compared to the other treatments. Grain moisture content declined in woven bags, but remained high in PICS bags. Seed germination was not significantly affected over the first six months in all treatments, but declined after eight months of storage when infested grain was held in woven bags. Relative damage was low across treatments and not significantly different between treatments. Overall, maize showed no signs of deterioration in PICS bags versus the woven bags and PICS bags were superior to woven bags in terms of specific metrics of grain quality.

  13. Influence of fire on dead woody material in forests of California and southwestern Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl N. Skinner

    2002-01-01

    The frequent occurrence of fire in most forested areas of California and southwestern Oregon before this century has been well established. Likewise, the importance of dead woody material to various wildlife species as snags and downed logs has been well documented. It is unlikely that much large woody material survived fire long enough to decompose fully in fire...

  14. Technical Note: Linking climate change and downed woody debris decomposition across forests of the eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Matthew B.; Woodall, Christopher W.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Fraver, Shawn; Bradford, John B.

    2014-01-01

    Forest ecosystems play a critical role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Forest carbon (C) is stored through photosynthesis and released via decomposition and combustion. Relative to C fixation in biomass, much less is known about C depletion through decomposition of woody debris, particularly under a changing climate. It is assumed that the increased temperatures and longer growing seasons associated with projected climate change will increase the decomposition rates (i.e., more rapid C cycling) of downed woody debris (DWD); however, the magnitude of this increase has not been previously addressed. Using DWD measurements collected from a national forest inventory of the eastern United States, we show that the residence time of DWD may decrease (i.e., more rapid decomposition) by as much as 13% over the next 200 years, depending on various future climate change scenarios and forest types. Although existing dynamic global vegetation models account for the decomposition process, they typically do not include the effect of a changing climate on DWD decomposition rates. We expect that an increased understanding of decomposition rates, as presented in this current work, will be needed to adequately quantify the fate of woody detritus in future forests. Furthermore, we hope these results will lead to improved models that incorporate climate change scenarios for depicting future dead wood dynamics in addition to a traditional emphasis on live-tree demographics.

  15. Effect of long-term understory prescribed burning on standing and down dead woody material in dry upland oak forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo, John A.; Hallgren, S.W.; Leslie,, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Dead woody material, long ignored or viewed as a nuisance for forest management, has gained appreciation for its many roles in the forest including wildlife habitat, nutrient storage and cycling, energy for trophic webs, protection of soil, fuel for fire and carbon storage. The growing interest in managing dead woody material has created strong demand for greater understanding of factors controlling amounts and turnover. Prescribed burning, an important management tool, may have strong effects of dead woody material given fire’s capacity to create and consume dead woody material. We determined effects of long-term understory prescribed burning on standing and down woody material in upland oak forests in south-central North America. We hypothesized that as frequency of fire increased in these stands the amount of deadwood would decrease and the fine woody material would decrease more rapidly than coarse woody material. The study was conducted in forests dominated by post oak (Quercus stellata) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) in wildlife management areas where understory prescribed burning had been practiced for over 20 years and the range of burn frequencies was 0 (unburned) fires per decade (FPD) to 4.6 FPD. The amount of deadwood was low compared with more productive forests in southeastern North America. The biomass (24.7 Mg ha-1) and carbon stocks (11.7 Mg ha-1) were distributed among standing dead (22%), coarse woody debris (CWD, dia. > 7.5 cm., 12%), fine woody debris (FWD, dia. prescribed burning influenced the amount and size distribution of standing and down dead woody material. There were two explanations for the lack of a detectable effect. First, a high incidence of severe weather including ice storms and strong winds that produce large amounts of deadwood intermittently in an irregular pattern across the landscape may preclude detecting a strong effect of understory prescribed burning. Second, fire suppression during the first one-half of the

  16. Woody Vegetation Composition and Structure in Peri-urban Chongming Island, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Min; Escobedo, Francisco J.; Wang, Ruijing; Zhou, Qiaolan; Lin, Wenpeng; Gao, Jun

    2013-05-01

    Chongming, the world's largest alluvial island, is located within the municipality of Shanghai, China. Recent projects have now linked peri-urban Chongming to Shanghai's urban core and as a result will soon undergo substantial changes from urbanization. We quantitatively analyzed the structure and composition of woody vegetation across subtropical, peri-urban Chongming as a basis for sustainable management of these rapidly urbanizing subtropical ecosystems elsewhere. We used 178 permanent, random plots to statistically and spatially analyze woody plant composition and tree structure across the 1,041 km2 of Chongming. A total of 2,251 woody plants were measured comprising 42 species in 37 genera. We statistically and geospatially analyzed field data according to land uses and modeled air pollution removal by trees. Average tree diameter at breast height, total height, and crown widths on transportation land uses were greater than other land uses. These same values were lowest on forest land use and greater tree cover was associated with areas of increased anthropogenic activity. Less than 20 % of the woody vegetation was exotic and a species richness index was significantly different between land uses due to legacy effects. Composition of agriculture and forest land uses were similar to residential and transportation. Tree cover across Chongming was also estimated to annually remove 1,400 tons of air pollutants. We propose that this integrated and quantitative method can be used in other subtropical, peri-urban areas in developing countries to establish baseline trends for future sustainability objectives and to monitor the effects of urbanization and climate change.

  17. Woody biomass production lags stem-girth increase by over one month in coniferous forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuny, Henri E; Rathgeber, Cyrille B K; Frank, David; Fonti, Patrick; Mäkinen, Harri; Prislan, Peter; Rossi, Sergio; Del Castillo, Edurne Martinez; Campelo, Filipe; Vavrčík, Hanuš; Camarero, Jesus Julio; Bryukhanova, Marina V; Jyske, Tuula; Gričar, Jožica; Gryc, Vladimír; De Luis, Martin; Vieira, Joana; Čufar, Katarina; Kirdyanov, Alexander V; Oberhuber, Walter; Treml, Vaclav; Huang, Jian-Guo; Li, Xiaoxia; Swidrak, Irene; Deslauriers, Annie; Liang, Eryuan; Nöjd, Pekka; Gruber, Andreas; Nabais, Cristina; Morin, Hubert; Krause, Cornelia; King, Gregory; Fournier, Meriem

    2015-10-26

    Wood is the main terrestrial biotic reservoir for long-term carbon sequestration(1), and its formation in trees consumes around 15% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions each year(2). However, the seasonal dynamics of woody biomass production cannot be quantified from eddy covariance or satellite observations. As such, our understanding of this key carbon cycle component, and its sensitivity to climate, remains limited. Here, we present high-resolution cellular based measurements of wood formation dynamics in three coniferous forest sites in northeastern France, performed over a period of 3 years. We show that stem woody biomass production lags behind stem-girth increase by over 1 month. We also analyse more general phenological observations of xylem tissue formation in Northern Hemisphere forests and find similar time lags in boreal, temperate, subalpine and Mediterranean forests. These time lags question the extension of the equivalence between stem size increase and woody biomass production to intra-annual time scales(3, 4, 5, 6). They also suggest that these two growth processes exhibit differential sensitivities to local environmental conditions. Indeed, in the well-watered French sites the seasonal dynamics of stem-girth increase matched the photoperiod cycle, whereas those of woody biomass production closely followed the seasonal course of temperature. We suggest that forecasted changes in the annual cycle of climatic factors(7) may shift the phase timing of stem size increase and woody biomass production in the future.

  18. Agricultural interventions for water saving and crop yield improvement, in a Mediterranean area - an experimental design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morianou, Giasemi; Kourgialas, Nektarios; Psarras, George; Koubouris, George; Arampatzis, George; Karatzas, George; Pavlidou, Elisavet

    2017-04-01

    This work is a part of LIFE+ AGROCLIMAWATER project and the aim is to improve the water efficiency, increase the adaptive capacity of tree corps and save water, in a Mediterranean area, under different climatic conditions and agricultural practices. The experimental design as well as preliminary results at farm and river basin scales are presented in this work. Specifically, ten (10) pilot farms, both organic and conventional ones have been selected in the sub-basin of Platanias in western Crete - Greece. These ten pilot farms were selected representing the most typical crops in Platanias area (olive trees and citrus trees), as well as the typical soil, landscape and agricultural practices differentiation for each crop (field slope, water availability, soil type, management regime). From the ten pilot farms, eight were olive farms and the rest two citrus. This proportion correspond adequacy to the presentence of olive and citrus crops in the extended area of Platanias prefecture. Each of the ten pilot farm has been divided in two parts, the first one will be used as a control part, while the other one as the demonstration part where the interventions will be applied. The action plans for each selected farm are based on the following groups of possible interventions: a) reduction of water evaporation losses from soil surface, b) reduction of transpiration water losses through winter pruning and summer pruning, c) reduction of deep percolation water and nutrient losses, d) reduction of surface runoff, e) measures in order to maximize the efficiency of irrigation and f) rationalization of fertilizers and agrochemicals utilized. Preliminary results indicate that water saving and crop yield can be significantly improved based on the above innervations both at farm and river basin scale.

  19. 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.

  20. Sensitivity and requirement of improvements of four soybean crop simulation models for climate change studies in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battisti, R.; Sentelhas, P. C.; Boote, K. J.

    2017-12-01

    Crop growth models have many uncertainties that affect the yield response to climate change. Based on that, the aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of crop models to systematic changes in climate for simulating soybean attainable yield in Southern Brazil. Four crop models were used to simulate yields: AQUACROP, MONICA, DSSAT, and APSIM, as well as their ensemble. The simulations were performed considering changes of air temperature (0, + 1.5, + 3.0, + 4.5, and + 6.0 °C), [CO2] (380, 480, 580, 680, and 780 ppm), rainfall (- 30, - 15, 0, + 15, and + 30%), and solar radiation (- 15, 0, + 15), applied to daily values. The baseline climate was from 1961 to 2014, totalizing 53 crop seasons. The crop models simulated a reduction of attainable yield with temperature increase, reaching 2000 kg ha-1 for the ensemble at + 6 °C, mainly due to shorter crop cycle. For rainfall, the yield had a higher rate of reduction when it was diminished than when rainfall was increased. The crop models increased yield variability when solar radiation was changed from - 15 to + 15%, whereas [CO2] rise resulted in yield gains, following an asymptotic response, with a mean increase of 31% from 380 to 680 ppm. The models used require further attention to improvements in optimal and maximum cardinal temperature for development rate; runoff, water infiltration, deep drainage, and dynamic of root growth; photosynthesis parameters related to soil water availability; and energy balance of soil-plant system to define leaf temperature under elevated CO2.

  1. Sensitivity and requirement of improvements of four soybean crop simulation models for climate change studies in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battisti, R.; Sentelhas, P. C.; Boote, K. J.

    2018-05-01

    Crop growth models have many uncertainties that affect the yield response to climate change. Based on that, the aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of crop models to systematic changes in climate for simulating soybean attainable yield in Southern Brazil. Four crop models were used to simulate yields: AQUACROP, MONICA, DSSAT, and APSIM, as well as their ensemble. The simulations were performed considering changes of air temperature (0, + 1.5, + 3.0, + 4.5, and + 6.0 °C), [CO2] (380, 480, 580, 680, and 780 ppm), rainfall (- 30, - 15, 0, + 15, and + 30%), and solar radiation (- 15, 0, + 15), applied to daily values. The baseline climate was from 1961 to 2014, totalizing 53 crop seasons. The crop models simulated a reduction of attainable yield with temperature increase, reaching 2000 kg ha-1 for the ensemble at + 6 °C, mainly due to shorter crop cycle. For rainfall, the yield had a higher rate of reduction when it was diminished than when rainfall was increased. The crop models increased yield variability when solar radiation was changed from - 15 to + 15%, whereas [CO2] rise resulted in yield gains, following an asymptotic response, with a mean increase of 31% from 380 to 680 ppm. The models used require further attention to improvements in optimal and maximum cardinal temperature for development rate; runoff, water infiltration, deep drainage, and dynamic of root growth; photosynthesis parameters related to soil water availability; and energy balance of soil-plant system to define leaf temperature under elevated CO2.

  2. Fungal endophytes in woody roots of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. A. Hoff; Ned B. Klopfenstein; Geral I. McDonald; Jonalea R. Tonn; Mee-Sook Kim; Paul J. Zambino; Paul F. Hessburg; J. D. Rodgers; T. L. Peever; L. M. Carris

    2004-01-01

    The fungal community inhabiting large woody roots of healthy conifers has not been well documented. To provide more information about such communities, a survey was conducted using increment cores from the woody roots of symptomless Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) growing in dry forests...

  3. Nanofibrillated Cellulose (NFC: A High-Value Co-Product that Improves the Economics of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiong Song

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Cellulosic ethanol is a sustainable alternative to petroleum as a transportation fuel, which could be made biologically from agricultural and forestry residues, municipal waste, or herbaceous and woody crops. Instead of putting efforts on steps overcoming the natural resistance of plants to biological breakdown, our study proposes a unique pathway to improve the outcome of the process by co-producing high-value nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC, offering a new economic leverage for cellulosic ethanol to compete with fossil fuels in the near future. In this study, glucose has been produced by commercial enzymes while the residual solids are converted into NFC via sonification. Here, we report the morphology of fibers changed through the process and yield of glucose in the enzymatic hydrolysis step.

  4. Effect of crop sequence and crop residues on soil C, soil N and yield of maize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafi, M.; Bakht, J.; Attaullah; Khan, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    Improved management of nitrogen (N) in low N soils is critical for increased soil productivity and crop sustainability. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of residues incorporation, residues retention on soil surface as mulch, fertilizer N and legumes in crop rotation on soil fertility and yield of maize (Zea may L.). Fertilizer N was applied to maize at the rate of 160 kg ha/sup -1/, and to wheat at the rate of 120 kg ha/sup -1/ or no fertilizer N application. Crop rotation with the sequence of maize after wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize after lentil (Lens culinaris Medic) or wheat after mash bean (Vigna mungo L.) arranged in a split plot design was followed. Post-harvest incorporation of crop residues and residues retention on soil surface as mulch had significantly (p=0.05) affected grain and stover yield during 2004 and 2005. Two years average data revealed that grain yield was increased by 3.31 and 6.72% due to mulch and residues incorporation. Similarly, stover yield was also enhanced by 5.39 and 10.27% due to the same treatment respectively. Mulch and residues incorporation also improved stover N uptake by 2.23 and 6.58%, respectively. Total soil N and organic matter was non significantly (p=0.05) increased by 5.63 and 2.38% due to mulch and 4.13, 7.75% because of crop residues incorporation in the soil. Maize grain and stover yield responded significantly (p=0.05) to the previous legume (lentil) crop when compared with the previous cereal crop (wheat). The treatment of lentil - maize(+N), on the average, increased grain yield of maize by 15.35%, stover yield by 16.84%, total soil N by 10.31% and organic matter by 10.17%. Similarly, fertilizer N applied to the previous wheat showed carry over effect on grain yield (6.82%) and stover yield (11.37%) of the following maize crop. The present study suggested that retention of residues on soil surface as mulch, incorporation of residues in soil and legume (lentil - maize) rotation

  5. Sustainability of High Intensity Forest Management with Respect to Water QuaIity and Site Nutrient Reserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virginia R. Tolbert; Carl C. Trettin; Dale W. Johnson; John W. Parsons; Allan E. Houston; David A. Mays

    2001-01-01

    Ensuring sustainability of intensively managed woody crops requires determining soil and water quality effects using a combination of field data and modeling projections. Plot- and catchrnent-scale research, models, and meta-analyses are addressing nutrient availability, site quality, and measures to increase short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) productivity and site...

  6. Mapping Cropping Practices of a Sugarcane-Based Cropping System in Kenya Using Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Betty Mulianga

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the recent past, there has been a growing concern on the need for mapping cropping practices in order to improve decision-making in the agricultural sector. We developed an original method for mapping cropping practices: crop type and harvest mode, in a sugarcane landscape of western Kenya using remote sensing data. At local scale, a temporal series of 15-m resolution Landsat 8 images was obtained for Kibos sugar management zone over 20 dates (April 2013 to March 2014 to characterize cropping practices. To map the crop type and harvest mode we used ground survey and factory data over 1280 fields, digitized field boundaries, and spectral indices (the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI were computed for all Landsat images. The results showed NDVI classified crop type at 83.3% accuracy, while NDWI classified harvest mode at 90% accuracy. The crop map will inform better planning decisions for the sugar industry operations, while the harvest mode map will be used to plan for sensitizations forums on best management and environmental practices.

  7. Manipulation of Auxin Response Factor 19 affects seed size in the woody perennial Jatropha curcas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yanwei; Wang, Chunming; Wang, Ning; Jiang, Xiyuan; Mao, Huizhu; Zhu, Changxiang; Wen, Fujiang; Wang, Xianghua; Lu, Zhijun; Yue, Genhua; Xu, Zengfu; Ye, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Seed size is a major determinant of seed yield but few is known about the genetics controlling of seed size in plants. Phytohormones cytokinin and brassinosteroid were known to be involved in the regulation of herbaceous plant seed development. Here we identified a homolog of Auxin Response Factor 19 (JcARF19) from a woody plant Jatropha curcas and genetically demonstrated its functions in controlling seed size and seed yield. Through Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS), we found that JcARF19 was a positive upstream modulator in auxin signaling and may control plant organ size in J. curcas. Importantly, transgenic overexpression of JcARF19 significantly increased seed size and seed yield in plants Arabidopsis thaliana and J. curcas, indicating the importance of auxin pathway in seed yield controlling in dicot plants. Transcripts analysis indicated that ectopic expression of JcARF19 in J. curcas upregulated auxin responsive genes encoding essential regulators in cell differentiation and cytoskeletal dynamics of seed development. Our data suggested the potential of improving seed traits by precisely engineering auxin signaling in woody perennial plants. PMID:28102350

  8. RNA interference in designing transgenic crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Nusrat; Datta, Swapan K; Datta, Karabi

    2010-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence specific gene silencing mechanism, triggered by the introduction of dsRNA leading to mRNA degradation. It helps in switching on and off the targeted gene, which might have significant impact in developmental biology. Discovery of RNAi represents one of the most promising and rapidly advancing frontiers in plant functional genomics and in crop improvement by plant metabolic engineering and also plays an important role in reduction of allergenicity by silencing specific plant allergens. In plants the RNAi technology has been employed successfully in improvement of several plant species- by increasing their nutritional value, overall quality and by conferring resistance against pathogens and diseases. The review gives an insight to the perspective use of the technology in designing crops with innovation, to bring improvement to crop productivity and quality.

  9. Cooking with traditional crops improves nutrition and boosts ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2013-01-11

    Jan 11, 2013 ... It's no secret that traditional crops such as millets and pulses are highly nutritious. ... A survey of 310 families in India's Karnataka state determined that the ... developing recipes and food preparation methods that maximized ...

  10. Improvement of Selenium Status of Pasture Crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Gunnar Gissel

    1984-01-01

    Selenium was applied to pasture crops in a field experiment (1) by foliar application of 10 g Se/ha as selenite in the spring, (2) or by 5 g Se/ha in the spring plus 5 g in early August, (3) as selenite-enriched calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) at 4 g Se/ha after each cut, and (4) as 4 g Se after...

  11. Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Libraries of Pulse Crops: Characteristics and Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kangfu Yu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Pulse crops are considered minor on a global scale despite their nutritional value for human consumption. Therefore, they are relatively less extensively studied in comparison with the major crops. The need to improve pulse crop production and quality will increase with the increasing global demand for food security and people's awareness of nutritious food. The improvement of pulse crops will require fully utilizing all their genetic resources. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC libraries of pulse crops are essential genomic resources that have the potential to accelerate gene discovery and enhance molecular breeding in these crops. Here, we review the availability, characteristics, applications, and potential applications of the BAC libraries of pulse crops.

  12. Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Libraries of Pulse Crops: Characteristics and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Kangfu

    2012-01-01

    Pulse crops are considered minor on a global scale despite their nutritional value for human consumption. Therefore, they are relatively less extensively studied in comparison with the major crops. The need to improve pulse crop production and quality will increase with the increasing global demand for food security and people's awareness of nutritious food. The improvement of pulse crops will require fully utilizing all their genetic resources. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries of pulse crops are essential genomic resources that have the potential to accelerate gene discovery and enhance molecular breeding in these crops. Here, we review the availability, characteristics, applications, and potential applications of the BAC libraries of pulse crops. PMID:21811383

  13. Are we on the right track: Can our understanding of abscission in model systems promote or derail making improvements in less studied crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the world population grows and resources and climate conditions change, crop improvement continues to be one of the most important challenges for agriculturalists. The yield and quality of many crops is affected by abscission or shattering, and environmental stresses often hasten or alter the abs...

  14. Woody debris transport modelling by a coupled DE-SW approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persi, Elisabetta; Petaccia, Gabriella; Sibilla, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    The presence of wood in rivers is gaining more and more attention: on one side, the inclusion of woody debris in streams is emphasized for its ecological benefits; on the other hand, particular attention must be paid to its management, not to affect hydraulic safety. Recent events have shown that wood can be mobilized during floodings (Comiti et al. 2008, Lange and Bezzola 2006), aggravating inundations, in particular near urban areas. For this reason, the inclusion of woody debris influence on the prediction of flooded areas is an important step toward the reduction of hydraulic risk. Numerical modelling plays an important role to this purpose. Ruiz-Villanueva et al. (2014) use a two-dimensional numerical model to calculate the kinetics of cylindrical woody debris transport, taking into account also the hydrodynamic effects of wood. The model here presented couples a Discrete Element approach (DE) for the calculation of motion of a cylindrical log with the solution of the Shallow Water Equations (SW), in order to simulate woody debris transport in a two-dimensional stream. In a first step, drag force, added mass force and side force are calculated from flow and log velocities, assuming a reference area and hydrodynamic coefficients taken from literature. Then, the equations of dynamics are solved to model the planar roto-translation of the wooden cylinder. Model results and its physical reliability are clearly affected by the values of the drag and side coefficients, which in turn depend upon log submergence and angle towards the flow direction. Experimental studies to evaluate drag and side coefficients can be found for a submerged cylinder, with various orientations (Gippel et al. 1996; Hoang et al. 2015). To extend such results to the case of a floating (non-totally submerged) cylinder, the authors performed a series of laboratory tests whose outcomes are implemented in the proposed DE-SW model, to assess the effects of these values on the dynamic of woody

  15. Sensitivity and requirement of improvements of four soybean crop simulation models for climate change studies in Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battisti, R; Sentelhas, P C; Boote, K J

    2018-05-01

    Crop growth models have many uncertainties that affect the yield response to climate change. Based on that, the aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of crop models to systematic changes in climate for simulating soybean attainable yield in Southern Brazil. Four crop models were used to simulate yields: AQUACROP, MONICA, DSSAT, and APSIM, as well as their ensemble. The simulations were performed considering changes of air temperature (0, + 1.5, + 3.0, + 4.5, and + 6.0 °C), [CO 2 ] (380, 480, 580, 680, and 780 ppm), rainfall (- 30, - 15, 0, + 15, and + 30%), and solar radiation (- 15, 0, + 15), applied to daily values. The baseline climate was from 1961 to 2014, totalizing 53 crop seasons. The crop models simulated a reduction of attainable yield with temperature increase, reaching 2000 kg ha -1 for the ensemble at + 6 °C, mainly due to shorter crop cycle. For rainfall, the yield had a higher rate of reduction when it was diminished than when rainfall was increased. The crop models increased yield variability when solar radiation was changed from - 15 to + 15%, whereas [CO 2 ] rise resulted in yield gains, following an asymptotic response, with a mean increase of 31% from 380 to 680 ppm. The models used require further attention to improvements in optimal and maximum cardinal temperature for development rate; runoff, water infiltration, deep drainage, and dynamic of root growth; photosynthesis parameters related to soil water availability; and energy balance of soil-plant system to define leaf temperature under elevated CO 2 .

  16. [Regenerative morphological traits in a woody species community in Tumbesian tropical dry forest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Saritama, José Miguel; Pérez-Rúuz, César

    2016-06-01

    The study of functional morphological traits enables us to know fundamental aspects of the dynamics of plant communities in local and global habitats. Regenerative morphological traits play an important role in defining plant history and ecological behavior. Seed and fruit characteristics determine to a large extent the patterns for dispersal, germination, establishment and seedling recruitment a given species exhibits on its natural habitat. Despite their prominent role, seed and fruit traits have been poorly studied at the community level of woody plant species in neo-tropical dry forests. In the present study we aimed at i) evaluate the functional role of morphological traits of seeds, fruits and embryo in woody plant species; ii) determine which are the morphological patterns present in seeds collected from the community of woody species that occur in neo-tropical dry forests; and iii) compare woody plant species seed mass values comparatively between neo-tropical dry and tropical forests. To do so, mature seeds were collected from 79 plant species that occur in the Tumbesian forest of Southwest Ecuador. The studied species included the 42 and 37 most representative tree and shrubbery species of the Tumbesian forest respectively. A total of 18 morphological traits (seven quantitative and 11 qualitative) were measured and evaluated in the seeds, fruits and embryos of the selected species, and we compared the seeds mass with other forest types. Our results showed a huge heterogeneity among traits values in the studied species. Seed mass, volume and number were the traits that vary the most at the community level, i.e. seed length ranged from 1.3 to 39 mm, and seed width from 0.6 to 25 mm. Only six embryo types were found among the 79 plant species. In 40 % of the cases, fully developed inverted embryos with large and thick cotyledons to store considerable amount of nutrients were recorded. We concluded that highly variable and functionally complementary

  17. Trends in soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manjoro, Munyaradzi; Kakembo, Vincent; Rowntree, Kate M

    2012-03-01

    Woody shrub encroachment severely impacts on the hydrological and erosion response of rangelands and abandoned cultivated lands. These processes have been widely investigated at various spatial scales, using mostly field experimentation. The present study used remote sensing to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of soil erosion and encroachment by a woody shrub species, Pteronia incana, in a catchment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa between 1998 and 2008. The extreme categories of soil erosion and shrub encroachment were mapped with higher accuracy than the intermediate ones, particularly where lower spatial resolution data were used. The results showed that soil erosion in the worst category increased simultaneously with dense woody shrub encroachment on the hill slopes. This trend is related to the spatial patterning of woody shrub vegetation that increases bare soil patches--leading to runoff connectivity and concentration of overland flow. The major changes in soil erosion and shrub encroachment analysed during the 10-year period took place in the 5-9° slope category and on the concave slope form. Multi-temporal analyses, based on remote sensing, can extend our understanding of the dynamics of soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment. They may help benchmark the processes and assist in upscaling field studies.

  18. Impacts of Extreme Events on Phenology: Drought-Induced Changes in Productivity of Mixed Woody-Herbaceous Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rich, P. M.; Breshears, D. D.; White, A. B.

    2006-12-01

    Ecosystem responses to key climate drivers are reflected in phenological dynamics such as the timing and degree of "greenup" that integrate responses over spatial scales from individual plants to ecosystems. This integration is clearest in ecosystems dominated by a single species or life form, such as seasonally dynamic grasslands or more temporally constant evergreen forests. Yet many ecosystems have substantial contribution of cover from both herbaceous and woody evergreen plants. Responses of mixed woody- herbaceous ecosystems to climate are of increasing concern due to their extensive nature, the potential for such systems to yield more complex responses than those dominated by a single life form, and projections that extreme climate and weather events will increase in frequency and intensity with global warming. We present responses of a mixed woody-herbaceous ecosystem type to an extreme event: regional scale piñon pine mortality following an extended drought and the subsequent herbaceous greenup following the first wet period after the drought. This example highlights how reductions in greenness of the slower, more stable evergreen woody component can rapidly be offset by increases associated with resources made available to the relatively more responsive herbaceous component. We hypothesize that such two-phase phenological responses to extreme events are characteristic of many mixed woody-herbaceous ecosystems.

  19. SNAG AND LARGE WOODY DEBRIS DYNAMICS IN RIPARIAN FORESTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Important components of riparian forests are snags and streamside large woody debris (LWD) because they are functional in maintaining water quality and providing habitat for numerous plants and animals. To effectively manage riparian forests, it is important to understand the dy...

  20. Comparative Analysis of Woody Plants Biomass on the Affected

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nwokem et al.

    stands that were generated from the field using sample quadrats and measuring ... woody plants on the affected and restricted land management practices. F u ll L en .... divided into 6 strata that served as a guide to locate the quadrat samples.

  1. Assessment of Soil Seedbank Composition of Woody Species in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science (MEJS), V6(1):25-44,2014. ©CNCS ... In present work, soil seedbank assessment of woody plant species was made in .... 1995; Azene Bekele, 2007) and NDA (Natural Database for Africa) software. 2.3.

  2. Woody Alleni komöödia Rakveres / Peeter Raudsepp

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Raudsepp, Peeter, 1974-

    1999-01-01

    Rakvere Teatris esietendub 15. okt "Suveöö seksikomöödia", Woody Alleni filmistsenaariumi on näidendiks kirjutanud Jürgen Fischer, lavastab külalisena Rednar Annus, kunstnikud on Ene -Liis Semper ja Raoul Kurvitz, muusikaline kujundaja Tamur Tohver.

  3. Motivations to leave coarse woody debris in private forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boon, Tove Enggrob; Meilby, Henrik; Andersen, Anne Sofie Kirkegaard

    2014-01-01

    costs and benefits incurred? Based on the theory of planned behaviour, the aim of this study is to investigate forest owners’ motivation to integrate nature concerns in forest management. As criteria for choosing a relevant case, we looked for a measure that has a potential to significantly improve...... biodiversity, has political attention, is tangible, constitutes something any forest owner can do even on a small area of land, involves potential trade-offs with other management goals, and, preferably something that most forest owners and their personal network would have an opinion about.......Based on these criteria, we selected the case of leaving coarse woody debris on the forest floor. A survey questionnaire was designed and sent to 1434 private forest owners in Denmark, 686 of whom answered. The presentation includes the first results of the analysis....

  4. Bacterial Artificial Chromosome Libraries of Pulse Crops: Characteristics and Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Kangfu Yu

    2012-01-01

    Pulse crops are considered minor on a global scale despite their nutritional value for human consumption. Therefore, they are relatively less extensively studied in comparison with the major crops. The need to improve pulse crop production and quality will increase with the increasing global demand for food security and people's awareness of nutritious food. The improvement of pulse crops will require fully utilizing all their genetic resources. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Allometries for Widely Spaced Populus ssp. and Betula ssp. in Nurse Crop Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Stark

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Nurse crops of widely spaced pioneer trees are a silvicultural approach to protect the regeneration of frost sensitive target tree species. If overstorey nurse crops are harvested, they can provide additional short-term benefits through increased biomass production, e.g., for bioenergy. However, the intensification of biomass exports from forests might impact negatively on ecosystem nutrient pools. Thus, precise allometric biomass equations are required to quantify biomass and nutrient removals. Since an analysis of published allometric equations developed for typical, dense aspen or birch forests showed that the tree height-to-diameter ratio correlated positively and the proportion of branch biomass negatively with stand density, we developed new allometric biomass equations for widely spaced aspen and birch growing at 4 x 4 m spacing. These equations yielded a root mean squared error of 13% when predicting total aboveground woody biomass for our sample trees. In contrast, the corresponding root mean squared error produced by allometric biomass equations from the literature ranged between 17% to 106% of actual dry biomass. Our results show that specific allometric biomass equations are needed for widely spaced pioneer trees both for accurate estimates of biomass and the nutrients contained within.

  8. 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

  9. Grain and straw for whole plant: implications for crop management and genetic improvement strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Schiere, J.B.; Joshi, A.L.; Seetharam, A.; Oosting, S.J.; Goodchild, A.V.; Deinum, B.; Keulen, van, H.

    2004-01-01

    Straws and stovers are often called `by-products` of grain production even though they are increasingly important, e.g. for animal feed, thatching, soil improvement, mushroom production and industrial use. As a result, plant breeders, agronomists, economists and animal nutritionists have to pay more attention than before to the total value of crops, i.e. whole plant value in which straws and grain both play a part. This paper reviews literature about the technical potential of breeding and/or...

  10. Assessing the Use of Remote Sensing and a Crop Growth Model to Improve Modeled Streamflow in Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey, A. S.; Richey, J. E.; Tan, A.; Liu, M.; Adam, J. C.; Sokolov, V.

    2015-12-01

    Central Asia presents a perfect case study to understand the dynamic, and often conflicting, linkages between food, energy, and water in natural systems. The destruction of the Aral Sea is a well-known environmental disaster, largely driven by increased irrigation demand on the rivers that feed the endorheic sea. Continued reliance on these rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, often place available water resources at odds between hydropower demands upstream and irrigation requirements downstream. A combination of tools is required to understand these linkages and how they may change in the future as a function of climate change and population growth. In addition, the region is geopolitically complex as the former Soviet basin states develop management strategies to sustainably manage shared resources. This complexity increases the importance of relying upon publically available information sources and tools. Preliminary work has shown potential for the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model to recreate the natural water balance in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins by comparing results to total terrestrial water storage changes observed from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission. Modeled streamflow is well correlated to observed streamflow at upstream gauges prior to the large-scale expansion of irrigation and hydropower. However, current modeled results are unable to capture the human influence of water use on downstream flow. This study examines the utility of a crop simulation model, CropSyst, to represent irrigation demand and GRACE to improve modeled streamflow estimates in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins. Specifically we determine crop water demand with CropSyst utilizing available data on irrigation schemes and cropping patterns. We determine how this demand can be met either by surface water, modeled by VIC with a reservoir operation scheme, and/or by groundwater derived from GRACE. Finally, we assess how the

  11. Improved methods for irrigation and planting of major crops in waterlogged areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahlown, M.A.; Iqbal, M.; Raoof, A.

    2002-01-01

    The improved irrigation methods for wheat and cotton were evaluated in the fordwah Eastern Sadigia (South) Irrigation and Drainage Project area, during 1996-97 and 1997-98 cropping seasons, under three water table depths. Irrigation methods for wheat included 70, 95 and 120 cm Beds, with Flat Basin, as a check for comparative evaluation. Cotton had Ridge-planting on the top and side, Bed and Furrow, and Flat Basin as control. These irrigation methods were compared at water table depths of < 1 m, 1-2 and 2-3 m. The wheat variety inqalab-91, and cotton cultivar, CIM-109, were planted during the 3rd week of November and May every year. All the inputs and management practices, such as seed-rate, fertilizer, seeding method, weed control, plant-protection measures, etc. were kept common. The results on cotton indicated maximum water-use efficiency with the Bed and Furrow Method of irrigation Followed by ridge planting. The traditional Flat-planting had the lowest yield and the highest water-consumption, resulting in the minimum water-use efficiency. In harmony with cotton, the Flat Method of planting had maximum water-consumption. For wheat crop, the water-use efficiency was in descending order, with 120, 95 and 70 cm for Bed and Flat Methods. Bed planting of 95 cm had a fairly high water-use efficiency and yields were more were more comparable than Flat planting. This method had a high level of adaptabilities, especially when the groundwater was close to the root-zone and higher possibilities, especially when the groundwater was close to the root-zone and higher possibility of crop-submergence are existent during rainy spells. The results of the investigation strongly favoured the Bed and furrow methods to irrigate cotton and wheat. However, under well-drained soil conditions, Bed planting of wheat is not recommended. (author)

  12. Eleventh-year response of loblolly pine and competing vegetation to woody and herbaceous plant control on a Georgia flatwoods site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce R. Zutter; James H. Miller

    1998-01-01

    Through 11 growing seasons, growth of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) increased after control of herbaceous, woody, or both herbaceous and woody vegetation (total control) for the first 3 years after planting on a bedded site in the Georgia coastal flatwoods. Gains in stand volume index from controlling either herbaceous or woody vegetation alone were approximately two-...

  13. Induced mutations in connection with biotechnology for crop improvement in Latin America. Proceedings of a final research co-ordination meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-05-01

    This publication results from the second Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on Plant Breeding and Genetics organized on a regional basis in Latin America. The present CRP and the previous one were initiated and implemented in response to the pressing need to enhance the productivity of economic plants, viz. food crops, fruits and ornamentals. Improvement of crop production has become the highest priority in most countries of Latin America, as in other regions. Breeding superior varieties is often the only feasible solution where inputs are limited; well adapted varieties are required to meet specific agro-environmental conditions. Such varieties provide yield stability on an economically required level. The most important and common factors limiting crop production are abiotic, e.g. cold, salinity, soil aluminium toxicity and drought; as well as biotic, e.g. diseases and pests. Modern biotechnology and induced mutations offer new means and significant potential to breed desired varieties in a relatively short time. Additionally, both approaches facilitate the breeding of some vegetatively propagated crops which until now were improved mainly through selection of rare spontaneous mutants in natural or cultivated populations. Using some of these techniques it recently became possible to produce, in some crops, true-to-type mutated lines or clones within a few months. Biotechnology can also facilitate selection, description and molecular characterization of promising mutants. Currently used DNA markers, such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) as well as other polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques, were included in this CRP to benefit the important crops of this region. Also included in this CRP were doubled haploids (DH), which are obtained from anther or microspore cultures and are very suitable biotechnology methods. In connection with radiation-induced mutations, they can speed up conventional

  14. Induced mutations in connection with biotechnology for crop improvement in Latin America. Proceedings of a final research co-ordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-05-01

    This publication results from the second Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on Plant Breeding and Genetics organized on a regional basis in Latin America. The present CRP and the previous one were initiated and implemented in response to the pressing need to enhance the productivity of economic plants, viz. food crops, fruits and ornamentals. Improvement of crop production has become the highest priority in most countries of Latin America, as in other regions. Breeding superior varieties is often the only feasible solution where inputs are limited; well adapted varieties are required to meet specific agro-environmental conditions. Such varieties provide yield stability on an economically required level. The most important and common factors limiting crop production are abiotic, e.g. cold, salinity, soil aluminium toxicity and drought; as well as biotic, e.g. diseases and pests. Modern biotechnology and induced mutations offer new means and significant potential to breed desired varieties in a relatively short time. Additionally, both approaches facilitate the breeding of some vegetatively propagated crops which until now were improved mainly through selection of rare spontaneous mutants in natural or cultivated populations. Using some of these techniques it recently became possible to produce, in some crops, true-to-type mutated lines or clones within a few months. Biotechnology can also facilitate selection, description and molecular characterization of promising mutants. Currently used DNA markers, such as restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) as well as other polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques, were included in this CRP to benefit the important crops of this region. Also included in this CRP were doubled haploids (DH), which are obtained from anther or microspore cultures and are very suitable biotechnology methods. In connection with radiation-induced mutations, they can speed up conventional

  15. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  16. Non-structural carbohydrates in woody plants compared among laboratories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quentin, Audrey G.; Pinkard, Elizabeth A.; Ryan, Michael G.; Tissue, David T.; Baggett, Scott L.; Adams, Henry D.; Maillard, Pascale; Marchand, Jacqueline; Landhäusser, Simon M.; Lacointe, André; Gibon, Yves; Anderegg, William R.L.; Asao, Shinichi; Atkin, Owen K.; Bonhomme, Marc; Claye, Caroline; Chow, Pak S.; Clément-Vidal, Anne; Davies, Noel W.; Dickman, Turin L.; Dumbur, Rita; Ellsworth, David S.; Falk, Kristen; Galiano, Lucía; Grünzweig, José M.; Hartmann, Henrik; Hoch, Günter; Hood, Sharon; Jones, Joanna E.; Koike, Takayoshi; Kuhlmann, Iris; Lloret, Francisco; Maestro, Melchor; Mansfield, Shawn D.; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Maucourt, Mickael; McDowell, Nathan G.; Moing, Annick; Muller, Bertrand; Nebauer, Sergio G.; Niinemets, Ülo; Palacio, Sara; Piper, Frida; Raveh, Eran; Richter, Andreas; Rolland, Gaëlle; Rosas, Teresa; Joanis, Brigitte Saint; Sala, Anna; Smith, Renee A.; Sterck, Frank; Stinziano, Joseph R.; Tobias, Mari; Unda, Faride; Watanabe, Makoto; Way, Danielle A.; Weerasinghe, Lasantha K.; Wild, Birgit; Wiley, Erin; Woodruff, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in plant tissue are frequently quantified to make inferences about plant responses to environmental conditions. Laboratories publishing estimates of NSC of woody plants use many different methods to evaluate NSC. We asked whether NSC estimates in the recent

  17. Developmental Pathways Are Blueprints for Designing Successful Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Trevaskis

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Genes controlling plant development have been studied in multiple plant systems. This has provided deep insights into conserved genetic pathways controlling core developmental processes including meristem identity, phase transitions, determinacy, stem elongation, and branching. These pathways control plant growth patterns and are fundamentally important to crop biology and agriculture. This review describes the conserved pathways that control plant development, using Arabidopsis as a model. Historical examples of how plant development has been altered through selection to improve crop performance are then presented. These examples, drawn from diverse crops, show how the genetic pathways controlling development have been modified to increase yield or tailor growth patterns to suit local growing environments or specialized crop management practices. Strategies to apply current progress in genomics and developmental biology to future crop improvement are then discussed within the broader context of emerging trends in plant breeding. The ways that knowledge of developmental processes and understanding of gene function can contribute to crop improvement, beyond what can be achieved by selection alone, are emphasized. These include using genome re-sequencing, mutagenesis, and gene editing to identify or generate novel variation in developmental genes. The expanding scope for comparative genomics, the possibility to engineer new developmental traits and new approaches to resolve gene–gene or gene–environment interactions are also discussed. Finally, opportunities to integrate fundamental research and crop breeding are highlighted.

  18. Impacts on Water Management and Crop Production of Regional Cropping System Adaptation to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, H.; Sun, L.; Tian, Z.; Liang, Z.; Fischer, G.

    2014-12-01

    China is one of the most populous and fast developing countries, also faces a great pressure on grain production and food security. Multi-cropping system is widely applied in China to fully utilize agro-climatic resources and increase land productivity. As the heat resource keep improving under climate warming, multi-cropping system will also shifting northward, and benefit crop production. But water shortage in North China Plain will constrain the adoption of new multi-cropping system. Effectiveness of multi-cropping system adaptation to climate change will greatly depend on future hydrological change and agriculture water management. So it is necessary to quantitatively express the water demand of different multi-cropping systems under climate change. In this paper, we proposed an integrated climate-cropping system-crops adaptation framework, and specifically focused on: 1) precipitation and hydrological change under future climate change in China; 2) the best multi-cropping system and correspondent crop rotation sequence, and water demand under future agro-climatic resources; 3) attainable crop production with water constraint; and 4) future water management. In order to obtain climate projection and precipitation distribution, global climate change scenario from HADCAM3 is downscaled with regional climate model (PRECIS), historical climate data (1960-1990) was interpolated from more than 700 meteorological observation stations. The regional Agro-ecological Zone (AEZ) model is applied to simulate the best multi-cropping system and crop rotation sequence under projected climate change scenario. Finally, we use the site process-based DSSAT model to estimate attainable crop production and the water deficiency. Our findings indicate that annual land productivity may increase and China can gain benefit from climate change if multi-cropping system would be adopted. This study provides a macro-scale view of agriculture adaptation, and gives suggestions to national

  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. Restoration of soil fertility and improvement of cropping systems for sustainable development in the humid savannahs of Cote d'Ivoire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachmann, T.

    1999-01-01

    The present FAO-project addresses the soil fertility problems by combining organic with inorganic nutrient sources and actively involving farmers and other beneficiaries in an integrated, long-term development process. A major objective of the project is the participatory on-farm testing and validation of available technological innovations for soil fertility improvement. The results should fulfill two main requirements: (i) provide the farmer with a short-term production increase and (ii) improve/maintain soil fertility in the medium and long-term. The strategic framework of the project is based on the following three main elements: the need to take into account all aspects of soil fertility restoration including areas concerned, cost of fertility restoration, and economic profitability and sustainability; - the need to test all fertility improving measures at farm level in representative agro-ecozones of the humid and sub-humid savannas before their extension at large; the need to identify major macro-economic constraints (e.g. marketing) which impede sustainable agricultural development in the savannah region. The primary goal of the project is to replace traditional shifting cultivation in the humid savannas of the country by economically, ecologically and socially more sustainable production systems. In order to achieve this development objective the project focuses on the following main issues: restoration of soil fertility through improved land and crop management and more efficient use of mineral and organic fertilizers; crop diversification through more efficient use of water resources (irrigation); introduction of new cropping systems which have been successfully tested in countries with similar agro-ecological conditions; adapting traditional land tenure to the market economy; involving the private sector in all aspects of regional development assisted by Government through the creation of a favorable environment. Phase 1: constraint analysis and

  1. Can increased leaf photosynthesis be converted into higher crop mass production? A simulation study for rice using the crop model GECROS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yin, Xinyou; Struik, Paul C.

    2017-01-01

    Various genetic engineering routes to enhance C3 leaf photosynthesis have been proposed to improve crop productivity. However, their potential contribution to crop productivity needs to be assessed under realistic field conditions. Using 31 year weather data, we ran the crop model GECROS for rice

  2. Nutrient enrichment shifts mangrove height distribution: Implications for coastal woody encroachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Carolyn A; Armitage, Anna R

    2018-01-01

    Global changes, such as increased temperatures and elevated CO2, are driving shifts in plant species distribution and dominance, like woody plant encroachment into grasslands. Local factors within these ecotones can influence the rate of regime shifts. Woody encroachment is occurring worldwide, though there has been limited research within coastal systems, where mangrove (woody shrub/tree) stands are expanding into salt marsh areas. Because coastal systems are exposed to various degrees of nutrient input, we investigated how nutrient enrichment may locally impact mangrove stand expansion and salt marsh displacement over time. We fertilized naturally co-occurring Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) stands in Port Aransas, TX, an area experiencing mangrove encroachment within the Northern Gulf of Mexico mangrove-marsh ecotone. After four growing seasons (2010-2013) of continuous fertilization, Avicennia was more positively influenced by nutrient enrichment than Spartina. Most notably, fertilized plots had a higher density of taller (> 0.5 m) mangroves and mangrove maximum height was 46% taller than in control plots. Fertilization may promote an increase in mangrove stand expansion within the mangrove-marsh ecotone by shifting Avicennia height distribution. Avicennia individuals, which reach certain species-specific height thresholds, have reduced negative neighbor effects and have higher resilience to freezing temperatures, which may increase mangrove competitive advantage over marsh grass. Therefore, we propose that nutrient enrichment, which augments mangrove height, could act locally as a positive feedback to mangrove encroachment, by reducing mangrove growth suppression factors, thereby accelerating the rates of increased mangrove coverage and subsequent marsh displacement. Areas within the mangrove-marsh ecotone with high anthropogenic nutrient input may be at increased risk of a regime shift from grass to woody

  3. Nutrient enrichment shifts mangrove height distribution: Implications for coastal woody encroachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Anna R.

    2018-01-01

    Global changes, such as increased temperatures and elevated CO2, are driving shifts in plant species distribution and dominance, like woody plant encroachment into grasslands. Local factors within these ecotones can influence the rate of regime shifts. Woody encroachment is occurring worldwide, though there has been limited research within coastal systems, where mangrove (woody shrub/tree) stands are expanding into salt marsh areas. Because coastal systems are exposed to various degrees of nutrient input, we investigated how nutrient enrichment may locally impact mangrove stand expansion and salt marsh displacement over time. We fertilized naturally co-occurring Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) stands in Port Aransas, TX, an area experiencing mangrove encroachment within the Northern Gulf of Mexico mangrove-marsh ecotone. After four growing seasons (2010–2013) of continuous fertilization, Avicennia was more positively influenced by nutrient enrichment than Spartina. Most notably, fertilized plots had a higher density of taller (> 0.5 m) mangroves and mangrove maximum height was 46% taller than in control plots. Fertilization may promote an increase in mangrove stand expansion within the mangrove-marsh ecotone by shifting Avicennia height distribution. Avicennia individuals, which reach certain species-specific height thresholds, have reduced negative neighbor effects and have higher resilience to freezing temperatures, which may increase mangrove competitive advantage over marsh grass. Therefore, we propose that nutrient enrichment, which augments mangrove height, could act locally as a positive feedback to mangrove encroachment, by reducing mangrove growth suppression factors, thereby accelerating the rates of increased mangrove coverage and subsequent marsh displacement. Areas within the mangrove-marsh ecotone with high anthropogenic nutrient input may be at increased risk of a regime shift from grass to woody

  4. Long-term effects of burning on woody plant species sprouting on the False thornveld of Eastern Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ratsele, C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Sprouting allows woody plant species to persist in a site after a wide range of disturbances (e.g. prolonged fire), where opportunities for seedling establishment are limited. A study to investigate long-term effects of fire sprouting of woody...

  5. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Effi Haque

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050. Pest outbreak and increased abiotic stresses due to climate change pose a high risk to tropical crop production. Although conventional breeding techniques have significantly increased crop production and yield, new approaches are required to further improve crop production in order to meet the global growing demand for food. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein9 genome editing technology has shown great promise for quickly addressing emerging challenges in agriculture. It can be used to precisely modify genome sequence of any organism including plants to achieve the desired trait. Compared to other genome editing tools such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs and transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 is faster, cheaper, precise and highly efficient in editing genomes even at the multiplex level. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in editing the plant genome is emerging rapidly. The CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming a user-friendly tool for development of non-transgenic genome edited crop plants to counteract harmful effects from climate change and ensure future food security of increasing population in tropical countries. This review updates current knowledge and potentials of CRISPR/Cas9 for improvement of crops cultivated in tropical climates to gain resiliency against emerging pests and abiotic stresses.

  6. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, Effi; Taniguchi, Hiroaki; Hassan, Md Mahmudul; Bhowmik, Pankaj; Karim, M Rezaul; Śmiech, Magdalena; Zhao, Kaijun; Rahman, Mahfuzur; Islam, Tofazzal

    2018-01-01

    The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050. Pest outbreak and increased abiotic stresses due to climate change pose a high risk to tropical crop production. Although conventional breeding techniques have significantly increased crop production and yield, new approaches are required to further improve crop production in order to meet the global growing demand for food. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein9) genome editing technology has shown great promise for quickly addressing emerging challenges in agriculture. It can be used to precisely modify genome sequence of any organism including plants to achieve the desired trait. Compared to other genome editing tools such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), CRISPR/Cas9 is faster, cheaper, precise and highly efficient in editing genomes even at the multiplex level. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in editing the plant genome is emerging rapidly. The CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming a user-friendly tool for development of non-transgenic genome edited crop plants to counteract harmful effects from climate change and ensure future food security of increasing population in tropical countries. This review updates current knowledge and potentials of CRISPR/Cas9 for improvement of crops cultivated in tropical climates to gain resiliency against emerging pests and abiotic stresses.

  7. Opportunities for woody crop production using treated wastewater in Egypt. II. Irrigation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evett, Steven R; Zalesny, Ronald S; Kandil, Nabil F; Stanturf, John A; Soriano, Chris

    2011-01-01

    An Egyptian national program targets annual reuse of 2.4 billion m3 of treated wastewater (TWW) to irrigate 84,000 ha of manmade forests in areas close to treatment plants and in the desert. To evaluate the feasibility of such afforestation efforts, we describe information about TWW irrigation strategies based on (1) water use of different tree species, (2) weather conditions in different climate zones of Egypt, (3) soil types and available irrigation systems, and (4) the requirement to avoid deep percolation losses that could lead to groundwater contamination. We conclude that drip irrigation systems are preferred, that they should in most cases use multiple emitters per tree in order to increase wetted area and decrease depth of water penetration, that deep rooting should be encouraged, and that in most situations irrigation system automation is desirable to achieve several small irrigations per day in order to avoid deep percolation losses. We describe directed research necessary to fill knowledge gaps about depth of rooting of different species in sandy Egyptian soils and environments, tree crop coefficients needed for rational irrigation scheduling, and depth of water penetration under different irrigation system designs. A companion paper addresses recommendations for afforestation strategies (see Zalesny et al. 2011, this issue).

  8. Cost efficiency of measures to increase the amount of coarse woody debris in managed Norway spruce forest

    OpenAIRE

    Ranius, Thomas; Ekvall, Hans; Jonsson, Mattias; Bostedt, Göran

    2005-01-01

    Changing silvicultural methods in managed forestland to improve habitat quality for forest organisms has become one of the main means to preserve forest biodiversity in Fennoscandia. In boreal forests, coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important substrate for red-listed species. In this study, we analyse cost efficiency of five management measures taken in Swedish forestry, which aim at increasing CWD in managed forests: retention of living trees at harvest, artificial creation of high stumps, ...

  9. Genetic engineering of crops: a ray of hope for enhanced food security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Gill, Ritu; Tuteja, Renu; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Crop improvement has been a basic and essential chase since organized cultivation of crops began thousands of years ago. Abiotic stresses as a whole are regarded as the crucial factors restricting the plant species to reach their full genetic potential to deliver desired productivity. The changing global climatic conditions are making them worse and pointing toward food insecurity. Agriculture biotechnology or genetic engineering has allowed us to look into and understand the complex nature of abiotic stresses and measures to improve the crop productivity under adverse conditions. Various candidate genes have been identified and transformed in model plants as well as agriculturally important crop plants to develop abiotic stress-tolerant plants for crop improvement. The views presented here are an attempt toward realizing the potential of genetic engineering for improving crops to better tolerate abiotic stresses in the era of climate change, which is now essential for global food security. There is great urgency in speeding up crop improvement programs that can use modern biotechnological tools in addition to current breeding practices for providing enhanced food security.

  10. Woody tissue analysis using an element ratio technique (DRIS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt H. Riitters; L.F. Ohmann; D.F. Grigal

    1991-01-01

    The diagnosis and recommendation integrated system (DRIS) was used to describe the variation of 12 elements in woody tree tissue and balsam fir (Abies balsamae (L.) Mill.), sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), red pine (Pinus resinosa alt.), and aspen (

  11. Characterizing pesticide dissipation in food crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fantke, Peter; Juraske, R.; Jolliet, O.

    2013-01-01

    Ingestion of residues via consumption of food crops is the predominant exposure route of the general population toward pesticides. However, pesticide dissipation in crops constitutes a main source of uncertainty in estimating residues in harvested crop parts and subsequent human exposure. Neverth......Ingestion of residues via consumption of food crops is the predominant exposure route of the general population toward pesticides. However, pesticide dissipation in crops constitutes a main source of uncertainty in estimating residues in harvested crop parts and subsequent human exposure....... Nevertheless, dissipation is a key mechanism in models assessing pesticide distribution in the cropenvironment and the magnitude of residues in harvest. We provide a consistent framework for characterizing pesticide dissipation in food crops for use in modeling approaches applied in health risk and impact...... degradation is dominating. We are currently testing the regression to predict degradation half-lives in crops. By providing mean degradation half-lives at 20°C for more than 300 pesticides, we reduce uncertainty and improve assumptions in current practice of health risk and impact assessments....

  12. Online induction heating for determination of isotope composition of woody stem water with laser spectrometry: A methods assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarus, Brynne E.; Germino, Matthew; Vander Veen, Jessica L.

    2016-01-01

    Application of stable isotopes of water to studies of plant–soil interactions often requires a substantial preparatory step of extracting water from samples without fractionating isotopes. Online heating is an emerging approach for this need, but is relatively untested and major questions of how to best deliver standards and assess interference by organics have not been evaluated. We examined these issues in our application of measuring woody stem xylem of sagebrush using a Picarro laser spectrometer with online induction heating. We determined (1) effects of cryogenic compared to induction-heating extraction, (2) effects of delivery of standards on filter media compared to on woody stem sections, and (3) spectral interference from organic compounds for these approaches (and developed a technique to do so). Our results suggest that matching sample and standard media improves accuracy, but that isotopic values differ with the extraction method in ways that are not due to spectral interference from organics.

  13. Approaches to Improvement of Crop Genotypes with High Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency for Water Scarce Environments. Final Report of a Coordinated Research Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-12-01

    Projected global population increase and the impacts of climate change on agriculture highlight the importance of the use of improved crop varieties coupled with better soil, water and fertilizer management practices designed to protect the natural resource base. This publication is the outcome of a coordinated research project (CRP) and focuses on the practical application of nuclear and related techniques, such as mutation induction and the use of stable isotopes of nitrogen [N-15] and carbon [C-13]. The use of such techniques can improve crop productivity with mutant varieties and best-fit soil management practices in diverse agro-ecological zones affected by drought, high temperatures, water scarcity, soil acidity and soil salinity. The findings of the CRP will be highly valuable to agricultural scientists and laboratory technicians of national agricultural research organizations in Member States as a resource for improving soil and crop productivity.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. New indicators for global crop monitoring in CropWatch -case study in North China Plain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bingfang, Wu; Miao, Zhang; Hongwei, Zeng; Guoshui, Liu; Sheng, Chang; Gommes, René

    2014-01-01

    CropWatch is a monitoring system developed and operated by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (Chinese Academy of Sciences) to provide global-scale crop information. Now in its 15th year of operation, CropWatch was modified several times to be a timely, comprehensive and independent global agricultural monitoring system using advanced remote sensing technology. Currently CropWatch is being upgraded with new indicators based on new sensors, especially those on board of China Environmental Satellite (HJ-1 CCD), the Medium Resolution Spectral Imager (MERSI) on Chinese meteorological satellite (FY-3A) and cloud classification products of FY-2. With new satellite data, CropWatch will generate new indicators such as fallow land ratio (FLR), crop condition for irrigated (CCI) and non-irrigated (CCNI) areas separately, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), radiation use efficiency for the photosynthetically active radiation (RUE PAR ) and cropping index (CI) with crop rotation information (CRI). In this paper, the methods for monitoring the new indicators are applied to the North China Plain which is one of the major grain producing areas in China. This paper shows the preliminary results of the new indicators and methods; they still need to be thoroughly validated before being incorporated into the operational CropWatch system. In the future, the new and improved indicators will help us to better understand the global situation of food security

  17. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study

    OpenAIRE

    Herron Caroline M; Newell James N; Lewis Christopher P; Nawabu Haidari

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Genetically Modified (GM) crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Methods Nineteen ind...

  18. Land use changes and development of the non-forest woody vegetation in the Danubian Lowland in Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supuka Ján

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to assess the changes in the landscape structure of the Žitný Ostrov territory and in the woody species of the non-forest woody vegetation (NFWV over the past 120 years. Within the assessed periods of 1892, 1949, 1969 and 2015, the shares of arable land increased by 17% while the ratio of the built-up areas with gardens increased by 3.7%. At the same time, natural habitats, grassland, waterlogged meadows and wetlands decreased by 26%. These changes, concerning small mosaic plots as well as large cultural blocks, were caused by the intensification of agriculture after 1948. Ecological stability and biodiversity of these areas has decreased. Thereafter 60 windbreaks were planted from 1951–1952 in an area of 30 ha. In total, 37 woody species were planted, of which 22 were alien species. After 25 years (in 1976, 19 of the same windbreaks were surveyed, observing 16 native and 12 alien woody species. During these periods, many rare alien and coniferous species died. In 2015, 13 windbreaks with 39 woody species were identified, both in the tree and the shrubby layer. The downside is that four of the long-time surviving species are invasive trees.

  19. Lasting effects of soil health improvements with management changes in cotton-based cropping systems in a sandy soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    The soil microbial component is essential for sustainable agricultural systems and soil health. This study evaluated the lasting impacts of 5 years of soil health improvements from alternative cropping systems compared to intensively tilled continuous cotton (Cont. Ctn) in a low organic matter sandy...

  20. Unlimited Thirst for Genome Sequencing, Data Interpretation, and Database Usage in Genomic Era: The Road towards Fast-Track Crop Plant Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Prabhu Dhanapal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of sequenced crop genomes and associated genomic resources is growing rapidly with the advent of inexpensive next generation sequencing methods. Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of science research, including basic and applied plant and animal sciences. The importance of databases keeps increasing as the volume of datasets from direct and indirect genomics, as well as other omics approaches, keeps expanding in recent years. The databases and associated web portals provide at a minimum a uniform set of tools and automated analysis across a wide range of crop plant genomes. This paper reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with crop plant databases utilization in advancing genomic era. The utilization of databases for variation analysis with other comparative genomics tools, and data interpretation platforms are well described. The major focus of this review is to provide knowledge on platforms and databases for genome-based investigations of agriculturally important crop plants. The utilization of these databases in applied crop improvement program is still being achieved widely; otherwise, the end for sequencing is not far away.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Improving runoff prediction using agronomical information in a cropped, loess covered catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lefrancq, Marie; Van Dijk, Paul; Jetten, Victor; Schwob, Matthieu; Payraudeau, Sylvain

    2017-01-01

    Predicting runoff hot spots and hot-moments within a headwater crop-catchment is of the utmost importance to reduce adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems by adapting land use management to control runoff. Reliable predictions of runoff patterns during a crop growing season remain challenging. This

  4. Quantifying Savanna Woody Cover in the Field and on Historical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    jed1z

    ... mapping woody cover on such imagery in bush encroachment studies are the use of traditional pixel-based ... cover by testing it against detailed field validation data. We then assess ..... Mexico', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 93, pp.

  5. Development of Trombay pulse crop varieties mutation through induced mutation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dhole, V.J.; Reddy, K.S.

    2016-01-01

    The food prices including pulses were beginning to increase from 2008, something that was not expected to happen before 2020. It was due to climate change, a scarcity of good arable land, water and nutrients. With these obstacles, we must produce almost double than what we are producing now to achieve food security by 2050. It can be achieved through crop improvement. Crop improvement is the art and science of changing the genetic make of crop plant in desire direction through various method of plant breeding. Mutation breeding is one of the techniques which utilize the physical and chemical mutagens to create genetic variability. Till date more than 3200 mutant varieties have been developed worldwide in which two physical mutagens i.e. X-rays and gamma rays have major contributions. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is one of the leading institutes in India where nuclear energy is used for crop improvement, which resulted in to development of 43 improved high yielding varieties in different crops including 19 varieties of pulse crops. These varieties are contributing significantly to production of pulses and ultimately to national food security. (author)

  6. Modeling respiration from snags and coarse woody debris before and after an invasive gypsy moth disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidi J. Renninger; Nicholas Carlo; Kenneth L. Clark; Karina V.R. Schäfer

    2014-01-01

    Although snags and coarse woody debris are a small component of ecosystem respiration, disturbances can significantly increase the mass and respiration from these carbon (C) pools. The objectives of this study were to (1) measure respiration rates of snags and coarse woody debris throughout the year in a forest previously defoliated by gypsy moths, (2) develop models...

  7. Sequential use of the STICS crop model and of the MACRO pesticide fate model to simulate pesticides leaching in cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammoglia, Sabine-Karen; Moeys, Julien; Barriuso, Enrique; Larsbo, Mats; Marín-Benito, Jesús-María; Justes, Eric; Alletto, Lionel; Ubertosi, Marjorie; Nicolardot, Bernard; Munier-Jolain, Nicolas; Mamy, Laure

    2017-03-01

    The current challenge in sustainable agriculture is to introduce new cropping systems to reduce pesticides use in order to reduce ground and surface water contamination. However, it is difficult to carry out in situ experiments to assess the environmental impacts of pesticide use for all possible combinations of climate, crop, and soils; therefore, in silico tools are necessary. The objective of this work was to assess pesticides leaching in cropping systems coupling the performances of a crop model (STICS) and of a pesticide fate model (MACRO). STICS-MACRO has the advantage of being able to simulate pesticides fate in complex cropping systems and to consider some agricultural practices such as fertilization, mulch, or crop residues management, which cannot be accounted for with MACRO. The performance of STICS-MACRO was tested, without calibration, from measurements done in two French experimental sites with contrasted soil and climate properties. The prediction of water percolation and pesticides concentrations with STICS-MACRO was satisfactory, but it varied with the pedoclimatic context. The performance of STICS-MACRO was shown to be similar or better than that of MACRO. The improvement of the simulation of crop growth allowed better estimate of crop transpiration therefore of water balance. It also allowed better estimate of pesticide interception by the crop which was found to be crucial for the prediction of pesticides concentrations in water. STICS-MACRO is a new promising tool to improve the assessment of the environmental risks of pesticides used in cropping systems.

  8. Sensitivity to zinc of Mediterranean woody species important for restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disante, Karen B; Fuentes, David; Cortina, Jordi

    2010-04-15

    Heavy metals have increased in natural woodlands and shrublands over the last several decades as a consequence of anthropogenic activities. However, our knowledge of the effects of these elements on woody species is scarce. In this study, we examined the responses of six Mediterranean woody species to increasing levels of zinc in hydroponic culture and discussed the possible implications for the restoration of contaminated sites. The species used, Pinus pinea L., Pinus pinaster Ait., Pinus halepensis Mill., Tetraclinis articulata (Vahl) Mast., Rhamnus alaternus L. and Quercus suber L. represent a climatic gradient from dry sub-humid to semi-arid conditions. Zinc concentrations in shoots ranged from 53 microg g(-1) in Q. suber to 382 microg g(-1) in T. articulata and were well below the levels found in roots. Zinc inhibited root elongation and root biomass and changed the root length distribution per diameter class, but the magnitude of the effects was species-specific. Only P. halepensis and Q. suber showed toxicity symptoms in aboveground parts. Species more characteristic from xeric environments (T. articulata, R. alaternus and P. halepensis) were more sensitive to zinc than species from mesic environments (Q. suber, P. pinaster and P. pinea). According to the Zn responses and bioaccumulation, Q. suber P. pinea and P. halepensis are the best candidates for field trials to test the value of woody species to restore contaminated sites. None of the species tested seemed suitable for phytoremediation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Sugars from woody tissue photosynthesis reduce xylem vulnerability to cavitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baerdemaeker, Niels J F; Salomón, Roberto Luis; De Roo, Linus; Steppe, Kathy

    2017-11-01

    Reassimilation of internal CO 2 via woody tissue photosynthesis has a substantial effect on tree carbon income and wood production. However, little is known about its role in xylem vulnerability to cavitation and its implications in drought-driven tree mortality. Young trees of Populus nigra were subjected to light exclusion at the branch and stem levels. After 40 d, measurements of xylem water potential, diameter variation and acoustic emission (AE) were performed in detached branches to obtain acoustic vulnerability curves to cavitation following bench-top dehydration. Acoustic vulnerability curves and derived AE 50 values (i.e. water potential at which 50% of cavitation-related acoustic emissions occur) differed significantly between light-excluded and control branches (AE 50,light-excluded  = -1.00 ± 0.13 MPa; AE 50,control  = -1.45 ± 0.09 MPa; P = 0.007) denoting higher vulnerability to cavitation in light-excluded trees. Woody tissue photosynthesis represents an alternative and immediate source of nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) that confers lower xylem vulnerability to cavitation via sugar-mediated mechanisms. Embolism repair and xylem structural changes could not explain this observation as the amount of cumulative AE and basic wood density did not differ between treatments. We suggest that woody tissue assimilates might play a role in the synthesis of xylem surfactants for nanobubble stabilization under tension. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Tanzanian farmers' knowledge and attitudes to GM biotechnology and the potential use of GM crops to provide improved levels of food security. A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Christopher P; Newell, James N; Herron, Caroline M; Nawabu, Haidari

    2010-07-12

    Genetically Modified (GM) crops have been championed as one possible method to improve food security and individual nutritional status in sub Saharan Africa. Understanding and acceptability of GM crop technology to farmers and consumers have not been assessed. We developed a qualitative research study involving farmers as both producers and consumers to gauge the understanding of GM crop technology, its acceptability, and identifying issues of concern. Nineteen individual interviews (10 male and 9 female) and five mixed gender focus group discussions with local farmers were conducted in 3 regions in Tanzania. Analysis took place concurrently with data collection. Following initial interviews, subsequent questions were adjusted based on emerging themes. Understanding, awareness and knowledge of GM crop technology and terminology and its potential risks and benefits was very poor in all regions. Receptivity to the potential use of GM crops was, however, high. Respondents focused on the potential benefits of GM crops rather than any potential longer term health risks. A number of factors, most significantly field trial data, would influence farmers' decisions regarding the introduction of GM crop varieties into their farming practice. Understanding of the potential improved health provision possible by changes in agricultural practice and food-related decision making, and the health benefits of a diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients is also poor in these communities. This study forms a basis from which further research work can be undertaken. It is important to continue to assess opinions and attitudes of farmers and consumers in sub Saharan Africa towards potential use of GM technologies whilst highlighting the importance of the relationship between agriculture, health and development. This will allow people in the region to make accurate, informed decisions about whether they believe use of GM biotechnology is an appropriate way in which

  11. Restoration of degraded drylands through exclosures enhancing woody species diversity and soil nutrients in the highlands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kide M. Gebremedihin

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Exclusion of grazing animals and tree plantations were among the methods used for the rehabilitation of degraded lands in tropical semiarid areas. Exclosures can foster secondary forest succession by improving soil conditions, attracting seed-dispersal agents and modifying microclimate for understory growth. This paper compares the woody species diversity and soil chemical properties under exclosure with increasing age and grazing land at different slope positions. The study has been conducted in northern Ethiopia from 12 exclosure sites paired each with adjacent grazing land with four treatments replicated three times. In the entire study 216 plots were examined of which 108 were in exclosures and 108 in communal grazing lands.There were four age classes and three slope positions in each of the landuses. Vegetation data were collected using plots measuring 100 m2. Soils for physicochemical properties were collected from the four corners and center of 5 × 5m plots which was inside the 10 × 10m plot. A total of 61 woody plant species belonging to 41 families were recorded. Diversity and species richness were higher in the exclosures than in grazing lands. Among exclosures these parameters were higher in exclosures older than 30 years and at the foot of the slope. Grazing lands, the youngest exclosures and upper elevation gradient recorded lower values. Chemical soil properties were significantly higher in the exclosures, among them in the oldest exclosures and at foot elevation (except for P than these were in the grazing land, the youngest exclosures and upper parts of slopes respectively. Exclosures are instrumental to improve the woody species diversity and soil chemical properties in the drylands.

  12. Early deterioration of coarse woody debris.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tainter, Frank, H.; McMinn, James, W.

    1999-02-16

    Tainter, F.H., and J.W. McMinn. 1999. Early deterioration of coarse woody debris. In: Proc. Tenth Bien. South. Silv. Res. Conf. Shreveport, LA, February 16-18, 1999. Pp. 232-237 Abstract - Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important structural component of southern forest ecosystems. CWD loading may be affected by different decomposition rates on sites of varying quality. Bolts of red oak and loblolly pine were placed on plots at each of three (hydric, mesic. and xerlc) sites at the Savannah River Site and sampled over a I6-week period. Major changes were in moisture content and nonstructural carbohydrate content (total carbohydrates, reducing sugars, and starch) of sapwood. Early changes in nonstructural carbohydrate levels following placement of the bolts were likely due to reallocation of these materials by sapwood parenchyma cells. These carbohydrates later formed pools increasingly metabolized by bacteria and invading fungi. Most prevalent fungi in sapwood were Ceratocysfis spp. in pine and Hypoxy/on spp. in oak. Although pine sapwood became blue stained and oak sapwood exhibited yellow soft decay with black zone lines, estimators of decay (specific gravity, sodium hydroxide solubility, and holocellulose content) were unchanged during the 16-week study period. A small effect of site was detected for starch content of sapwood of both species. Fungal biomass in sapwood of both species, as measured by ergosterol content, was detectable at week zero, increased somewhat by week three and increased significantly by week 16.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Effect of Tillage Practices on Soil Properties and Crop Productivity in Wheat-Mungbean-Rice Cropping System under Subtropical Climatic Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md. Monirul; Hasanuzzaman, Mirza

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to know cropping cycles required to improve OM status in soil and to investigate the effects of medium-term tillage practices on soil properties and crop yields in Grey Terrace soil of Bangladesh under wheat-mungbean-T. aman cropping system. Four different tillage practices, namely, zero tillage (ZT), minimum tillage (MT), conventional tillage (CT), and deep tillage (DT), were studied in a randomized complete block (RCB) design with four replications. Tillage practices showed positive effects on soil properties and crop yields. After four cropping cycles, the highest OM accumulation, the maximum root mass density (0–15 cm soil depth), and the improved physical and chemical properties were recorded in the conservational tillage practices. Bulk and particle densities were decreased due to tillage practices, having the highest reduction of these properties and the highest increase of porosity and field capacity in zero tillage. The highest total N, P, K, and S in their available forms were recorded in zero tillage. All tillage practices showed similar yield after four years of cropping cycles. Therefore, we conclude that zero tillage with 20% residue retention was found to be suitable for soil health and achieving optimum yield under the cropping system in Grey Terrace soil (Aeric Albaquept). PMID:25197702

  17. Application of Buckmaster Electrolyte Ion Leakage Test to Woody Biofuel Feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broderick, Thomas F [Forest Concepts, LLC; Dooley, James H [Forest Concepts, LLC

    2014-08-28

    In an earlier ASABE paper, Buckmaster reported that ion conductivity of biomass leachate in aqueous solution was directly correlated with activity access to plant nutrients within the biomass materials for subsequent biological or chemical processing. The Buckmaster test involves placing a sample of the particles in a beaker of constant-temperature deionized water and monitoring the change in electrical conductivity over time. We adapted the Buckmaster method to a range of woody biomass and other cellulosic bioenergy feedstocks. Our experimental results suggest differences of electrolyte leakage between differently processed woody biomass particles may be an indicator of their utility for conversion in bioenergy processes. This simple assay appears to be particularly useful to compare different biomass comminution techniques and particle sizes for biochemical preprocessing.

  18. Engineering crop nutrient efficiency for sustainable agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong

    2017-10-01

    Increasing crop yields can provide food, animal feed, bioenergy feedstocks and biomaterials to meet increasing global demand; however, the methods used to increase yield can negatively affect sustainability. For example, application of excess fertilizer can generate and maintain high yields but also increases input costs and contributes to environmental damage through eutrophication, soil acidification and air pollution. Improving crop nutrient efficiency can improve agricultural sustainability by increasing yield while decreasing input costs and harmful environmental effects. Here, we review the mechanisms of nutrient efficiency (primarily for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron) and breeding strategies for improving this trait, along with the role of regulation of gene expression in enhancing crop nutrient efficiency to increase yields. We focus on the importance of root system architecture to improve nutrient acquisition efficiency, as well as the contributions of mineral translocation, remobilization and metabolic efficiency to nutrient utilization efficiency. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  19. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  20. Biofuels Feedstock Development Program annual progress report for 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, L.L.; Cushman, J.H.; Ehrenshaft, A.R.; McLaughlin, S.B.; McNabb, W.A.; Ranney, J.W.; Tuskan, G.A.; Turhollow, A.F.

    1992-12-01

    This report provides an overview of the ongoing research funded in 1991 by the Department of Energy's Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP). The BFDP is managed by the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and encompasses the work formerly funded by the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program and the Herbaceous Energy Crops Program. The combined program includes crop development research on both woody and herbaceous energy crop species, cross-cutting energy and environmental analysis and integration, and information management activities. Brief summaries of 26 different program activities are included in the report.

  1. Recent trends on crop genetic improvement using mutation techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Siyong

    2008-01-01

    The radiation breeding technology has been significantly achieved on creation of mutation genetic resources of plants for commercial cultivation and genomic study since 1920s. According to the FAO-IAEA Mutant Variety Database, more than 2600 varieties have been released in the world. Induction of mutations with radiation has been the most frequently used by sources of X-ray and gamma ray, but in recent Japanese scientist have been used the heavy ion beam as a new radiation sources. And China has been made remarkable outcomes in the mutant creation using new space breeding technology since 1990s. In Korea, more about 40 varieties have been developed by using the mutation breeding method since the mid-1960s. Most of the released mutant varieties in Korea were food and oil seed crops, especially for improving agronomic traits such as yield, lodging tolerance, maturity, and functional compounds. Currently the mutation breeding program in Korea has assigned more resources to develop high functional crops and ornamental plants. These functional and ornamental plants are ideal systems for a mutation breeding. A research program for the development of potential varieties of flowering and ornamental crops as rose, chrysanthemum, lily, carnation, orchids, and wild flowers was started with financial support from the Bio green 21 project of Korean government. The potential outcomes from the program will be new highly valued-added varieties which will provide greater money gains to Korean farmers and lots of valued mutants used for a gene isolation of interest and reverse genetics or functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic after a completion of genome sequencing of some model plant species. A direct approach of discovering the function of a novel gene is to use a mutant which has altered

  2. Recent trends on crop genetic improvement using mutation techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Siyong [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-04-15

    The radiation breeding technology has been significantly achieved on creation of mutation genetic resources of plants for commercial cultivation and genomic study since 1920s. According to the FAO-IAEA Mutant Variety Database, more than 2600 varieties have been released in the world. Induction of mutations with radiation has been the most frequently used by sources of X-ray and gamma ray, but in recent Japanese scientist have been used the heavy ion beam as a new radiation sources. And China has been made remarkable outcomes in the mutant creation using new space breeding technology since 1990s. In Korea, more about 40 varieties have been developed by using the mutation breeding method since the mid-1960s. Most of the released mutant varieties in Korea were food and oil seed crops, especially for improving agronomic traits such as yield, lodging tolerance, maturity, and functional compounds. Currently the mutation breeding program in Korea has assigned more resources to develop high functional crops and ornamental plants. These functional and ornamental plants are ideal systems for a mutation breeding. A research program for the development of potential varieties of flowering and ornamental crops as rose, chrysanthemum, lily, carnation, orchids, and wild flowers was started with financial support from the Bio green 21 project of Korean government. The potential outcomes from the program will be new highly valued-added varieties which will provide greater money gains to Korean farmers and lots of valued mutants used for a gene isolation of interest and reverse genetics or functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic. Scientific interest in mutation breeding has drastically be ed focused to the field of functional genomic after a completion of genome sequencing of some model plant species. A direct approach of discovering the function of a novel gene is to use a mutant which has altered

  3. Farmers Participatory Research in the Evaluation of Maize Crop Residues for Improved Dairy Cattle Production in Eastern Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiruiro, E.M.; Kariuki, I.W.; Kang'ara, J.; Ouma, O.

    1999-01-01

    Informal and formal surveys, and participatory rural appraisal conducted within the coffee land-use system of Embu District in Eastern Kenya identified feed shortage as a major constraint to increased dairy production on small holder farms. To address this constraint, a two-year (1996-1998) on-farm research project involving 20 farms in Manyatta division, Embu District was initiated with broad objectives of developing components technologies that would use maize crop residues. This was due to the recognition of the fact that the greatest potential for improving field availability would be in the exploitation of crop residues, especially those derived from maize, the main staple crop in the region. Based on these reality appropriate technologies that would offer viable offers for the use of crop residues were identified and discussed during workshops and meetings with farmers. Component technologies considered included drying of maize leaves after defoliation and post-harvest storage methods for dry maize stover. this paper discussed the results of the participatory research in context of farmers' involvement in the technology development, testing, evaluation and promotion. The study demonstrated that involving farmers in all stages of the research process, enhanced their interest and participation in the testing and subsequent adoption of appropriate technologies

  4. The Nicotianamine Synthase Gene Is a Useful Candidate for Improving the Nutritional Qualities and Fe-Deficiency Tolerance of Various Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Nozoye

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by the year 2050, the sustainable production of nutritious foods will be necessary for human health and the environment. Iron (Fe is an essential nutrient for both plants and humans. Fe is poorly soluble, especially at high pH levels, at which it is difficult for living organisms to accumulate sufficient Fe. In plants, Fe deficiency leads to low yield and poor nutritional quality, as it significantly affects chlorophyll synthesis. Fe deficiency is a worldwide agricultural problem that is especially serious in soils with a high pH, such as calcareous soils, which comprise approximately 30% of cultivated soils worldwide. Genetic improvements in crops that can tolerate Fe deficiency will be required to meet the demands for crop production and could ultimately contribute to the amelioration of global warming. Nicotianamine (NA is an Fe chelator in plants that is involved in metal translocation in the plant body. In mammals, NA inhibits angiotensin I-converting enzyme, which plays a key role in blood pressure control. It was recently shown that the enhancement of NA production using nicotianamine synthase is useful for increasing not only NA but also Fe and Zn levels in crops such as rice, soybean, and sweet potato. Additionally, these plants showed Fe-deficiency tolerance in calcareous soil. These results suggested that NAS overexpression simultaneously improves food quality and increases plant production. This review summarizes progress in generating crops overexpressing NAS.

  5. Targeting the right input data to improve crop modeling at global level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, M.; Robertson, R.; Gbegbelegbe, S.; Jones, J. W.; Boote, K. J.; Asseng, S.

    2012-12-01

    Designed for location-specific simulations, the use of crop models at a global level raises important questions. Crop models are originally premised on small unit areas where environmental conditions and management practices are considered homogeneous. Specific information describing soils, climate, management, and crop characteristics are used in the calibration process. However, when scaling up for global application, we rely on information derived from geographical information systems and weather generators. To run crop models at broad, we use a modeling platform that assumes a uniformly generated grid cell as a unit area. Specific weather, specific soil and specific management practices for each crop are represented for each of the cell grids. Studies on the impacts of the uncertainties of weather information and climate change on crop yield at a global level have been carried out (Osborne et al, 2007, Nelson et al., 2010, van Bussel et al, 2011). Detailed information on soils and management practices at global level are very scarce but recognized to be of critical importance (Reidsma et al., 2009). Few attempts to assess the impact of their uncertainties on cropping systems performances can be found. The objectives of this study are (i) to determine sensitivities of a crop model to soil and management practices, inputs most relevant to low input rainfed cropping systems, and (ii) to define hotspots of sensitivity according to the input data. We ran DSSAT v4.5 globally (CERES-CROPSIM) to simulate wheat yields at 45arc-minute resolution. Cultivar parameters were calibrated and validated for different mega-environments (results not shown). The model was run for nitrogen-limited production systems. This setting was chosen as the most representative to simulate actual yield (especially for low-input rainfed agricultural systems) and assumes crop growth to be free of any pest and diseases damages. We conducted a sensitivity analysis on contrasting management

  6. Woody plant encroachment effect on soil organic carbon dynamics: results from a latitudinal gradient in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellis, Guido; Chiti, Tommaso; Moscatelli, Maria Cristina; Marinari, Sara; Papale, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Woody plant encroachment into pastures and grasslands represents a significant land cover change phenomenon, with a considerable impact on carbon dynamics at an ecosystem level. It was estimated that 7.64% of the Southern Europe land was subject to that process between 1950 to 2010. As a result of woody encroachment, changes in vegetation composition can produce substantial changes to the soil organic carbon (SOC) cycle. Despite the numerous papers published on land-use change, an evaluation of the IPCC terrestrial carbon pools changes occurring during woody encroachment on abandoned pastures and grasslands is still lacking, particularly for the Italian territory. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of woody encroachment on carbon sequestration over abandoned pastures and grasslands in Alpine and Apennine ecosystems, with a particular focus on the SOC. We applied a chronosequence approach to seven selected sites located along a latitudinal gradient in Italy. Each chronosequence consisted of a pasture currently managed, three sites abandoned at different times in the past and, finally, a mature forest stand representing the last phase of the succession. The European Commission sampling protocols to certify SOC changes was adopted to estimate the variations following woody encroachment. Soil samples were collected at different depths in the topsoil (0-30 cm) and subsoil (30-70 cm), despite the original protocol formulation being limited to the topsoil only. In addition, aboveground living biomass (AGB), dead wood and litter were also measured following international protocols. Considering all C pools together, woody plant encroachment leads to a progressive C stock accumulation in all the chronosequences. The total C stock of mature forest stands ranges from 1.78±0.11 times (Eastern Alps) to 2.48±0.31 times (central Apennine) the initial value on pastures. Unsurprisingly, the C stocks of AGB, dead wood and litter all increase during the

  7. 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

  8. Simulating the productivity of desert woody shrubs in southwestern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the southwestern U.S., many rangelands have converted from native grasslands to woody shrublands dominated by creosotebush (Larrea tridentate) and honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), threatening ecosystem health. Both creosotebush and mesquite have well-developed long root systems that allow t...

  9. Vegetation types, dominant compositions, woody plant diversity and stand structure in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Northeast India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumdar, Koushik; Datta, B K

    2015-03-01

    Present study was carried out to assess the vegetation types, diversity and phytosociological status of woody plants in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Tripura, Northeast India. Vegetation data was derived by 25 line transects (10 m wide and 500 m length, each 0.5 ha size). All woody species at >10 cm gbh (Girth at Breast Height) within each plots were measured and counted. A total of six forest types were classified by cluster analysis using Importance Value Index (IVI) of 289 woody species. Species diversity, forest structure and woody community associations were evaluated and discussed. One way ANOVA revealed significant differences in all species diversity measures and stand structure along the forest types. Distribution of stem density at ten different gbh classes showed reverse J-shaped curves. Population status of woody plants was also examined through grouping of all individuals into four population age stages viz. sapling ( or = 30 - 120 - 210 cm gbh) and old (> or =210 cm). To observe dominant composition and species population trend, IVI of top ten dominant species from all forest types were tabulated. The present study suggested that Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is an important habitat in Tripura from floristic point of view and it should be conserved on priority basis for remaining wildlife endurances and monitor for forest livelihoods products for sustainable biodiversity conservation in this region.

  10. Diversity and structure of woody vegetation across areas with ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Here we investigate the differences and/or similarities of woody vegetation diversity and structure across areas with different edaphic factors (i.e. soil group) in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. We stratified our study area into two strata based on soil group, namely siallitic soil in northern Gonarezhou and regosol soil ...

  11. Improvement of potato based cropping patterns by inclusion of short duration Mungbean and T. Aman rice in Monga prone areas of Rangpur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.K. Islam

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The experiment was carried out to compare the improved cropping patterns against the farmers existing potato based cropping patterns having no mungbean/brown manure crop for higher yield, economic return and income generation in agricultural field in the off period following RCBD design with three replications at farmer’s field at Paikan Gangachara, Rangpur district during September- October. The treatments (cropping patterns were T1 = T. aman rice (BINA 7 - Potato - Mungbean (BARI mungbean 6 (Improved pattern, T2 = T. aman rice (BR11 - Potato - Fallow (Farmers pattern, T3 = T. aman rice (BINA 7 - Potato + Maize intercrop - Mungbean (Improved pattern and T4 = T. aman rice (BR11 - Potato / Maize relay (Farmers pattern. The highest yield (4.16 t ha-1 was recorded in T2 (BR11 which is statistically at par with T4 (4.15 t ha-1 but higher than the other treatments. Early planting sole potato (T1 gave highest yield (26.10 t ha-1 which was significantly higher than all other treatments. Late planting sole potato (T2, intercropped early potato (T3 and relay potato (T4 showed similar yield (23.61 – 24.79 t ha-1. Intercropped (T3 and Relay (T4 maize did not vary significantly in the studied parameters and yields were 8.21 and 7.92 t ha-1, respectively. Mungbean after sole potato (T1 gave higher number of pods/plant (17.25, and yield (1.47 t ha-1 which is significantly higher than those of T3 (14.89 and 1.28 t ha-1, respectively. Highest gross return (GR (Tk. 417720 and gross margin (GM (Tk. 220220 were calculated in improved pattern T3 and the lowest of those (Tk. 289670, Tk. 146020 in farmers pattern T2 . The other improved pattern T3 was the second highest performer considering GR and GM. But BCR (2.21 was highest in T1 and second highest in T3. The results indicated that the improved patterns (T1, T3 were better than farmers pattern (T2, T4. The improved pattern (T1 gave GR Tk. 67890 and GM Tk. 51785 higher than farmers pattern (T2. Similarly, the

  12. Response of loblolly pine to complete woody and herbaceous control: projected yields and economic outcomes - the COMProject

    Science.gov (United States)

    James H. Miller; R.L. Busby; B.R. Zutter; S.M. Zedaker; M.B. Edwards; R.A. Newbold

    1995-01-01

    Abstract.Age-8 and -9 data from the 13 study plantations of the Competition Omission Monitoring Project (COMP) were used to project yields and derive economic outcomes for loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). COMP treatments were chop-burn, complete woody plant control, complete herbaceous plant control for 4 years, and complete woody...

  13. Assessing Extension's Ability to Promote Family Forests as a Woody Biomass Feedstock in the Northeast United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germain, Rene' H.; Ghosh, Chandrani

    2013-01-01

    The study reported here surveyed Extension educators' awareness and knowledge of woody biomass energy and assessed their desire and ability to reach out to family forest owners-a critical feedstock source. The results indicate Extension educators are aware of the potential of woody biomass to serve as a renewable source of energy. Respondents…

  14. 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...

  15. Improving Allergen Prediction in Main Crops Using a Weighted Integrative Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Wang, Jing; Li, Jing

    2017-12-01

    As a public health problem, food allergy is frequently caused by food allergy proteins, which trigger a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in the immune system of atopic individuals. The food allergens in our daily lives are mainly from crops including rice, wheat, soybean and maize. However, allergens in these main crops are far from fully uncovered. Although some bioinformatics tools or methods predicting the potential allergenicity of proteins have been proposed, each method has their limitation. In this paper, we built a novel algorithm PREAL W , which integrated PREAL, FAO/WHO criteria and motif-based method by a weighted average score, to benefit the advantages of different methods. Our results illustrated PREAL W has better performance significantly in the crops' allergen prediction. This integrative allergen prediction algorithm could be useful for critical food safety matters. The PREAL W could be accessed at http://lilab.life.sjtu.edu.cn:8080/prealw .

  16. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  17. On Farm Agronomic and First Environmental Evaluation of Oil Crops for Sustainable Bioenergy Chains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca Lazzeri

    Full Text Available Energy crops, and in particular oil crops, could be an important occasion for developing new non food production rows for a new multi-functional agriculture in Italy. In this view, the use of local biomass is a fundamental starting point for the development of a virtuous energy chain that should pursue not only agricultural profitability, but also chain sustainability and that is less dependent on the global market, characterized by instability in terms of biomass availability and price. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to crop choice on the basis of its rusticity and of its adaptability to local growing conditions and to low input cropping systems. In this context, alike woody and herbaceous biomasses, oil crops such as sunflower and rapeseed should be able to support local agricultural bioenergy chain in Italy. In addition, in a local bioenergy chain, the role of the farmers should not be limited just to grain production; but also grain processing should be performed at farm or consortium level in oilseed extraction plants well proportioned to the cropped surface. In this way, by means of a simple power generator, farmer could thus produce its own thermal and electric energy from the oil, maximizing his profit. This objective could also be achieved through the exploitation of the total biomass, including crop residues and defatted seed meals, that may be considered as fundamental additional economic and/or environmental benefits of the chain. This paper reports some results of three-years on-farm experiments on oil crop chain carried out in the framework of “Bioenergie” project, that was focused to enhance farmers awareness of these criteria and to the feasibility at open field scale of low-input cultivation of rapeseed, sunflower and Brassica carinata in seven Italian regions. In several on-farm experiences, these crops produced more than 800 kg ha-1 of oil with good energy properties. Defatted seed meals could be

  18. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    Biochar's effects on improving soil fertility, enhancing crop productivity and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission from croplands had been well addressed in numerous short-term experiments with biochar soil amendment (BSA) mostly in a single crop season / cropping year. However, the persistence of these effects, after a single biochar application, has not yet been well known due to limited long-term field studies so far. Large scale BSA in agriculture is often commented on the high cost due to large amount of biochar in a single application. Here, we try to show the persistence of biochar effects on soil fertility and crop productivity improvement as well as GHGs emission reduction, using data from a field experiment with BSA for 5 crop seasons in central North China. A single amendment of biochar was performed at rates of 0 (C0), 20 (C20) and 40 t ha-1 (C40) before sowing of the first crop season. Emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O were monitored with static closed chamber method throughout the crop growing season for the 1st, 2nd and 5th cropping. Crop yield was measured and topsoil samples were collected at harvest of each crop season. BSA altered most of the soil physic-chemical properties with a significant increase over control in soil organic carbon (S