University of Évora

Repositório Científico da Universidade de Évora
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    33084 research outputs found

    Finite element formulation for modelling nonlinear viscoelastic elastomers

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    Nonlinear viscoelastic response of reinforced elastomers is modeled using a three-dimensional mixed finite element method with a nonlocal pressure field. A general second-order unconditionally stable exponential integrator based on a diagonal Padé approximation is developed and the Bergström–Boyce nonlinear viscoelastic law is employed as a prototype model. An implicit finite element scheme with consistent linearization is used and the novel integrator is successfully implemented. Finally, several viscoelastic examples, including a study of the unit cell for a solid propellant, are solved to demonstrate the computational algorithm and relevant underlying physics

    On the vulval morphology of some species of Bursaphelenchus (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchinae)

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    The vulval pattern of six species of the genus Bursaphelenchus (B. abruptus, B. conicaudatus, B. fraudulentus, B. luxuriosae, B. mucronatus and B. xylophilus) was studied using scanning electron microscopy. A terminology for the vulval region structures observed is proposed herein and illustrated by micrographs and line drawings. It was shown that, of the studied species, only B. mucronatus and B. xylophilus share an identical morphology of the vulval region, all other species differing significantly from each other and from both B. mucronatus and B. xylophilus. This study indicates the diagnostic potential for variation in vulval morphology within Bursaphelenchus and it is recommended that such features are recorded in all future descriptions

    Bursaphelenchus xylophilus : opportunities in comparative genomics and molecular host–parasite interactions

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    Most Bursaphelenchus species are fungal feeding nematodes that colonize dead or dying trees. However, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus , the pine wood nematode, is also a pathogen of trees and is the causal agent of pine wilt disease. B. xylophilus is native to North America and here it causes little damage to trees. Where it is introduced to new regions it causes huge damage. The most severely affected areas are found in the Far East but more recently B. xylophilus has been introduced into Portugal and the potential for damage here is also high. As incidence and severity of pine wilt disease are linked to temperature we suggest that climate change is likely to exacerbate the problems caused by B. xylophilus and, in addition, will extend (northwards in Europe) the range in which pine wilt disease can occur. Here we review what is currently known about the interactions of B. xylophilus with its hosts, including recent developments in our understanding of the molecular biology of pathogenicity in the nematode. We also examine the potential developments that could be made by more widespread use of genomics tools to understand interactions between B. xylophilus , bacterial pathogens that have been implicated in disease and host trees

    Topological entropy in the synchronization of piecewise linear and monotone maps. Coupled Duffing oscillators

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    In this paper is presented a relationship between the synchronization and the topological entropy. We obtain the values for the coupling parameter, in terms of the topological entropy, to achieve synchronization of two unidirectional and bidirectional coupled piecewise linear maps. In addition, we prove a result that relates the synchronizability of two m-modal maps with the synchronizability of two conjugated piecewise linear maps. An application to the unidirectional and bidirectional coupled identical chaotic Du±ng equations is given. We discuss the complete synchronization of two identical double-well Du±ng oscillators, from the point of view of symbolic dynamics. Working with Poincar¶e cross-sections and the return maps associated, the synchronization of the two oscillators, in terms of the coupling strength, is characterized

    What Do Cattle Prefer in a Tropical Climate: Water Immersion or Artificial Shade?

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    Animal performance is affected by high air temperature and it is known that shade reduces the absorption of radiant temperature, and water for immersion facilitates heat loss. This study intends to find preferences of resources that contribute for the well-being of cattle and how they alterdaily behaviour. During summer, six Caracu and six Red Angus bulls were submitted to two different treatments: availability of artificial shade and water for immersion and availability of water for immersion. The categories observed were: positions (in the sun, under the shade, in the water), posture (standing, lying down) and activities (grazing, ruminating, leisure). The behavioural patterns were recorded using the focal sampling method every 15 minutes (from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). When shade and water for immersion coexists, cattle in this study prefer shade to avoid solar radiation. Both breeds had remained more time grazing, followed by ruminating in the Caracu breed, and by resting in the Red Angus breed. The Caracu breed had presented clear preference for the shade resource, but that fact was not always observed in the Red Angus breed. In hot climates, resources for defence against heat load, as shade and water for immersion improve the well-being of cattle

    Satellite DNA as a target for TaqMan real-time PCR detection of the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

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    The pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus , is a major pathogen of conifers, which impacts on forest health, natural ecosystem stability and international trade. As a consequence, it has been listed as a quarantine organism in Europe. A real-time PCR approach based on TaqMan chemistry was developed to detect this organism. Specific probe and primers were designed based on the sequence of the Msp I satellite DNA family previously characterized in the genome of the nematode. The method proved to be specific in tests with target DNA from PWN isolates from worldwide origin. From a practical point of view, detection limit was 1 pg of target DNA or one individual nematode. In addition, PWN genomic DNA or single individuals were positively detected in mixed samples in which B. xylophilius was associated with the closely related non-pathogenic species B. mucronatus , up to the limit of 0.01% or 1% of the mixture, respectively. The real-time PCR assay was also used in conjunction with a simple DNA extraction method to detect PWN directly in artificially infested wood samples. These results demonstrate the potential of this assay to provide rapid, accurate and sensitive molecular identification of the PWN in relation to pest risk assessment in the field and quarantine regulation


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    To estimate where future earthquakes are likely to occur, it is essential to combine information about past earthquakes with knowledge about the location and seismogenic properties of active faults. For this reason, robust probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) integrates seismicity and active fault data. Existing seismic hazard assessments for Portugal rely exclusively on seismicity data and do not incorporate data on active faults. Project SHARE (Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe) is an EC-funded initiative (FP7) that aims to evaluate European seismic hazards using an integrated, standardized approach. In the context of SHARE, we are developing a fully-parameterized active fault database for Portugal that incorporates existing compilations, updated according to the most recent publications. The seismogenic source model derived for SHARE will be the first model for Portugal to include fault data and follow an internationally standardized approach. This model can be used to improve both seismic hazard and risk analyses and will be combined with the Spanish database for use in Iberian- and European-scale assessments

    Effects of carbon source, carbon concentration and culture conditions on in vitro rooting of Pinus pinea L. microshoots

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    In stone pine (Pinus pinea L.), clonal propagation via adventitious shoot formation from cotyledons has been reported before but rooting of these shoots is poor. The number of rooted shoots had low frequency limiting the used of micropropagation protocols as a choice for mass propagation of superior genotypes. Therefore the main objective of the present work was to increase the number and quality of roots per shoot in order to ensure the survival and growth of a great number of plants in the acclimation phase. To achieve this, different combinations of carbon source (sucrose or glucose) at different concentrations, under different environmental conditions (temperature and light), were tested in the induction and expression phases of the adventitious root formation. Shoots of different clones obtained via organogenesis have been employed for the experiments. Observations were made on the rooting percentage, root length and number of roots per shoot. The results showed a general increased of the number of roots per shoot and an earlier root formation when glucose was used as a carbon source. However, there were no differences in the percentage of rooting between the carbons sources tested. The best results were obtained using 0.117 M of glucose and dark treatment combined with 19°C during the induction phase of the rhizogenic process. Light and low sugar concentration proved to be beneficial for the expression phase, increasing the root length. A remarkable interclonal difference in the ability to form roots was observed. It was possible to obtain a rooting percentage of more than 75% in several of the tested clones

    Seismicity along the Western Eurasia- Africa plate boundary

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    extends from the Azores Islands to the Strait of Gibraltar. The interaction between Iberia and Africa results in a complex region located in the western part of the Eurasian-African plate boundary. This region corresponds to the transition from an oceanic boundary, to a continental boundary where Iberia and Africa collide. The change in the seismicity along the Azores-Gibraltar-Algeria Plate boundary zone confirms that the present plate movement is transtensional in the Azores, dextral along the Gloria transform and convergent between the SW Atlantic margin and the Ibero-Maghrebian zone. The convergence rate decreases west (Azores plateau) to east (Ibero-Maghrebian zone). The plate boundary is very well delimited in the oceanic part, from the Azores Islands along the Azores-Gibraltar fault to approximately 12ºW (west of the Strait of Gibraltar). From 12ºW to 3.5ºE, including the Iberia-African region and extending to the western part of Algeria, the boundary is more diffuse and forms a wider area of deformation (Buforn et al., 2004; Borges et al., 2007; Bezzeghoud et al., 2008). This is also reflected by the occurrence of historical and instrumental large earthquakes, in particular by the recent earthquakes occurred in the Azores Islands, off coast of South- Western Portugal and in Ibero-Maghrebian zone. In this study we discuss the segmentation and complexity of this plate boundary using seismicity and focal mechanisms of large earthquakes occurred in this region. Some strong earthquakes occurred in the studied area will be addressed


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    ‘Rainha Claudia Verde’ is a regional cultivar of Prunus domestica L. well adapted to a specific region in the south of Portugal. In order to understand the postharvest behavior of this cultivar produced in different orchards, cell wall poly-saccharides and cell wall calcium fruit content were studied during ripening in two consecutive years. During harvest period pectic fractions soluble in water, carbonate and KOH were prepared from alcohol-insoluble residue (AIR) of plums. Galacturonic and neutral sugars contents were measured during fruit ripening and fruit firmness was also evaluated. The calcium fruit level was determined in the AIR during harvest season as well as in dry matter. Fruit firmness was significantly higher in the second year and was probably related with calcium fruit content and pectic polysaccharides. There was a significant difference in calcium fruit content between orchards, and this might influence the overall fruit texture during the postharvest period. During fruit ripening water soluble pectic polysaccharides did not change significantly, which corresponded with the small decrease in tissue firmness. The occurrence in the supernatant of the cellulosic residue of highly branched polysaccharides might be the consequence of matrix material associated with microfibrilar phase. Depolymerization of the hemicellulosic fraction was not evident during plum ripening. The loss of fruit firmness is a consequence of many cellular events which are influenced by external factors. The knowledge of calcium content in the cell wall and the pectic poly¬saccharides could be of great importance to local farmers to predict fruit texture


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