24,397 research outputs found

    Revisão taxonómica do género Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) na Península Ibérica e Marrocos

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    The genus Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) includes, depending on the author, 10 to 25 species, distributed mainly in the Mediterranean basin. The taxonomy of this genus is considered to be extremely difficult, due to a great morphological variability, doubtfull relevance of some of the characters used to distinguish its species (e.g. the life form: annual or perennial; the habit: erect or diffuse, shape of the leaves, indumentum, relative size of the capitula and colour of disc or ray florets, achene morphology), but also due to the hybridization and polyploidization. Despite the numerous studies that have been published, no agreement on the classification and characters used to discriminate between taxa has been reached. A taxonomic study of the genus Calendula was conducted for the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, aiming at (1) access the morphological variability between and within taxa, (2) confirm the chromosome numbers, (3) increase the nuclear DNA content estimations, (4) re-evaluate taxa delimitations and circumscription, and (5) reassess, and redefine, the descriptions and characters useful to distinguish taxa. In order to achieve a satisfying taxonomic core, extensive fieldwork, detailed morphometric analysis, chorological, karyological and genome size studies were conducted. For the Iberian Peninsula, four species were recognized, including nine subspecies (between these two new subspecies were described). For Morocco, including some taxa from Algeria and Tunisia 13 species were recognized (two new species and a nomenclatural change), including 15 subspecies (among these eight new subspecies were described). To corroborate the results obtained and to evaluate the evolutionary relationships among taxa, phylogenetic studies using molecular methods, such as ITS, microsatellites or other molecular markers, should be used.O gĂ©nero Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) inclui, dependendo do autor, 10 a 25 espĂ©cies, distribuĂ­das essencialmente na bacia do MediterrĂąneo. A taxonomia deste gĂ©nero Ă© considerada extremamente difĂ­cil, devido Ă  grande variabilidade morfolĂłgica, discutivel relevĂąncia de alguns dos caracteres utilizados para distinguir suas espĂ©cies (por exemplo, a forma de vida: anual ou perene, o hĂĄbito: erecto ou difuso, a forma das folhas, o indumento, o tamanho e a cor dos capĂ­tulos e a morfologia dos aquĂ©nios), mas tambĂ©m devido Ă  hibridização e poliploidização. Apesar dos inĂșmeros estudos que foram publicados, nĂŁo foi alcançado um acordo sobre a classificação e os caracteres utilizados para discriminar as suas espĂ©cies. Um estudo taxonĂłmico do gĂ©nero Calendula foi realizado para a PenĂ­nsula IbĂ©rica e Marrocos, com o objectivo de (1) verificar a variabilidade morfolĂłgica, (2) confirmar o nĂșmero de cromossomas, (3) aumentar as estimativas de conteĂșdo em ADN, (4) reavaliar a delimitação e a circunscrição dos taxa, e (5) reavaliar e redefinir as descriçÔes e caracteres Ășteis para os distinguir. Para alcançar uma robustĂȘs taxonĂłmica satisfatĂłria, foram realizados extensos trabalhos de campo, anĂĄlise morfomĂ©trica detalhada, abordagens corolĂłgicas, cariolĂłgicas e quanto ao conteĂșdo em ADN. Para a PenĂ­nsula IbĂ©rica, quatro espĂ©cies foram reconhecidas, incluindo nove subespĂ©cies (entre essas duas novas subespĂ©cies foram descritas). Para Marrocos, incluindo alguns taxa da Argelia e Tunisia, foram reconhecidas 13 espĂ©cies (duas novas e uma mudança nomenclatural), incluindo 15 subespĂ©cies (entre essas oito novas subespĂ©cies foram descritas). Para corroborar os resultados obtidos e avaliar as relaçÔes evolutivas e filogenĂ©ticas entre os taxa, estudos que utilizem diferentes mĂ©todos moleculares, tais como ITS, microsatĂ©lites ou outros marcadores moleculares, devem ser utilizados.Apoio financeiro do LaboratĂłrio Associado CESAM - Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (AMB/50017) financiado por fundos nacionais atravĂ©s da FCT/MCTES e cofinanciado pelo FEDER (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007638), no Ăąmbito do Acordo de Parceria PT2020, e Compete 2020Programa Doutoral em Biologi

    Evaluation of economic loss caused by Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in agricultural land of district Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

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    The Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) is a vertebrate pest of agricultural lands and forest. The study was aimed to report the damage to local crops by the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in the Muzaffarabad District. A survey was conducted to identify the porcupine-affected areas and assess the crop damage to the local farmers in district Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from May 2017 to October 2017. Around 19 villages were surveyed, and a sum of 191 semi-structured questionnaires was distributed among farmers. Crop damage was found highest in village Dhanni where a porcupine destroyed 175 Kg/Kanal of the crops. Regarding the total magnitude of crop loss, village Danna and Koomi kot were the most affected areas. More than half (51.8%) of the respondents in the study area suffered the economic loss within the range of 101-200,and(29.8, and (29.8%) of the people suffered losses in the range of 201-300 annually. Among all crops, maize (Zea mays) was found to be the most damaged crop ranging between 1-300 Kg annually. In the study area, porcupine also inflicted a lot of damages to some important vegetables, including spinach (Spinacia oleracea), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and onion (Allium cepa). It was estimated that, on average, 511Kg of vegetables are destroyed by porcupine every year in the agricultural land of Muzaffarabad. It was concluded that the Indian crested porcupine has a devastating effect on agriculture which is an important source of income and food for the local community. Developing an effective pest control strategy with the help of the local government and the Wildlife department could help the farmers to overcome this problem

    Differential responses in some quinoa genotypes of a consortium of beneficial endophytic bacteria against bacterial leaf spot disease

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    Many effective plant-microbe interactions lead to biological changes that can stimulate plant growth and production. This study evaluated the effect of the interaction between quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and endophytic bacterial strains on differential responses under biotic stress. Four strains of endophytic bacteria were used to inoculate three quinoa genotypes. Endophytic bacteria, isolated from the endosphere of healthy genotypes of quinoa plants, were used to evaluate their biocontrol activity against Pseudomonas syringae on quinoa plants, which causes leaf spot disease, depending on some different parameters. Quinoa genotype plants were treated with four treatments: pathogenic bacteria only (T1), internal bacteria only (T2), pathogenic bacteria + endogenous bacteria (T3), and untreated as the control (T4). The results indicated that there was a significant difference between chlorophyll content index of infected plants without bioagent (untreated) compared to plants bio-inoculated with endophytic bacteria. The highest mean disease incidence was on the plants without bacterial inoculum (90, 80, and 100%) for quinoa genotypes G1, G2, and G3, respectively. The results showed that there were significant differences in the weight of grains/plant, as the value ranged from 8.1 to 13.3 g when treated with pathogens (T1) compared to the treatment with pathogens and endogenous bacteria (T3), which ranged from 11.7 to 18.6 g/plant. Decreases in total aromatic amino acids appeared due to the pathogen infection, by 6.3, 22.8, and 24.1% (compared to the control) in G1, G2, and G3, respectively. On the other hand, genotype G3 showed the highest response in the levels of total aromatic and total neutral amino acids. The endophytic strains promoted quinoa seedling growth mainly by improving nutrient efficiency. This improvement could not be explained by their ability to induce the production of amino acids, showing that complex interactions might be associated with enhancement of quinoa seedling performance by endophytic bacteria. The endophytic bacterial strains were able to reduce the severity of bacterial leaf spot disease by 30, 40, and 50% in quinoa genotypes G1, G2, and G3, respectively, recording significant differences compared to the negative control. The results indicated that, G1 genotype was superior in different performance indicators (pathogen tolerance index, yield injury %, superiority measure and relative performance) for grain weight/plant under pathogen infection condition when treated with endophyte bacteria. Based on this study, these bacterial strains can be used as a biotechnology tool in quinoa seedling production and biocontrol to diminish the severity of bacterial leaf spot disease

    Climate change threatens olive oil production in the Levant

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    International audienceThe olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is one of the species best adapted to a Mediterranean-type climate. Nonetheless, the Mediterranean Basin is deemed to be a climate change ‘hotspot’ by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change because future model projections suggest considerable warming and drying. Within this context, new environmental challenges will arise in the coming decades, which will both weaken and threaten olive-growing areas, leading to a loss of productivity and changes in fruit and oil quality. Olive growing, a core of the Mediterranean economy, might soon be under stress. To probe the link between climate and olive trees, we here report 5,400 years of olive tree dynamics from the ancient city of Tyre, Lebanon. We show that optimal fruiting scales closely with temperature. Present-day and palaeo data define an optimal annual average temperature of 16.9 ± 0.3 °C for olive flowering that has existed at least since the Neolithic period. According to our projections, during the second half of the twenty-first century, temperature increases in Lebanon will have detrimental consequences on olive tree growth and olive oil production, especially in the country’s southern regions, which will become too hot for optimal flowering and fruiting. These data provide a template to understand present and future thresholds of olive production under climate change

    People make Places

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    For centuries Glasgow, as a bucolic fishing village and ecclesiastical centre on the banks of the River Clyde, held little of strategic significance. When success and later threats came to the city, it was as a consequence of explosive growth during the industrial era that left a significant civic presence accompanied by social and environmental challenges. Wartime damage to the fabric of the city and the subsequent implementation of modernist planning left Glasgow with a series of existential threats to the lives and the health of its people that have taken time to understand and come to terms with. In a few remarkable decades of late 20th century regeneration, Glasgow began to be put back together. The trauma of the second half of the 20th century is fading but not yet a distant memory. Existential threats from the climate emergency can provoke the reaction “what, again?” However, the resilience built over the last 50 years has instilled a belief that a constructive, pro-active and creative approach to face this challenge along with the recognition that such action can be transformational for safeguarding and improving people’s lives and the quality of their places. A process described as a just transition that has become central to Glasgow’s approach. Of Scotland’s four big cities, three are surrounded by landscape and sea only Glasgow is surrounded by itself. Even with a small territory, Glasgow is still the largest of Scotland’s big cities and by some margin. When the wider metropolitan area is considered, Glasgow is – like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – no mean city. People make Places begins with a review of the concept and complexities of place, discusses why these matter and reviews the growing body of evidence that place quality can deliver economic, social and environmental value. The following chapters focus on the history and evolution of modern Glasgow in four eras of 19th and early 20th century industrialisation, de- industrialisation and modernism in mid 20th century, late 20th century regeneration and a 21st century recovery towards transition and renaissance, and document the process, synthesis and the results of a major engagement programme and to explore systematic approaches to place and consensus building around the principal issues. The second half of the work reflects on a stocktaking of place in contemporary Glasgow, looking at the city through the lenses of an international, metropolitan and everyday city, concluding with a review of the places of Glasgow and what may be learned from them revealing some valuable insights presented in a series of Place Stories included. The concluding chapter sets out the findings of the investigation and analysis reviewing place goals, challenges and opportunities for Glasgow over the decades to 2030 and 2040 and ends with some recommendations about what Glasgow might do better to combine place thinking and climate awareness and setting out practical steps to mobilise Glasgow’s ‘place ecosystem’

    Fruit Crop Improvement with Genome Editing, In Vitro and Transgenic Approaches

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    Fruit species contribute to nutritional and health security by providing micronutrients, antioxidants, and bioactive phytoconstituents, and hence fruit-based products are becoming functional foods presently and for the future. Although conventional breeding methods have yielded improved varieties having fruit quality, aroma, antioxidants, yield, and nutritional traits, the threat of climate change and need for improvement in several other traits such as biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and higher nutritional quality has demanded complementary novel strategies. Biotechnological research in fruit crops has offered immense scope for large-scale multiplication of elite clones, in vitro, mutagenesis, and genetic transformation. Advanced molecular methods, such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), QTLomics, genomic selection for the development of novel germplasm having functional traits for agronomic and nutritional quality, and enrichment of bioactive constituents through metabolic pathway engineering and development of novel products, are now paving the way for trait-based improvement for developing genetically superior varieties in fruit plant species for enhanced nutritional quality and agronomic performance. In this article, we highlight the applications of in vitro and molecular breeding approaches for use in fruit breeding

    A Decision Support System for Economic Viability and Environmental Impact Assessment of Vertical Farms

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    Vertical farming (VF) is the practice of growing crops or animals using the vertical dimension via multi-tier racks or vertically inclined surfaces. In this thesis, I focus on the emerging industry of plant-specific VF. Vertical plant farming (VPF) is a promising and relatively novel practice that can be conducted in buildings with environmental control and artificial lighting. However, the nascent sector has experienced challenges in economic viability, standardisation, and environmental sustainability. Practitioners and academics call for a comprehensive financial analysis of VPF, but efforts are stifled by a lack of valid and available data. A review of economic estimation and horticultural software identifies a need for a decision support system (DSS) that facilitates risk-empowered business planning for vertical farmers. This thesis proposes an open-source DSS framework to evaluate business sustainability through financial risk and environmental impact assessments. Data from the literature, alongside lessons learned from industry practitioners, would be centralised in the proposed DSS using imprecise data techniques. These techniques have been applied in engineering but are seldom used in financial forecasting. This could benefit complex sectors which only have scarce data to predict business viability. To begin the execution of the DSS framework, VPF practitioners were interviewed using a mixed-methods approach. Learnings from over 19 shuttered and operational VPF projects provide insights into the barriers inhibiting scalability and identifying risks to form a risk taxonomy. Labour was the most commonly reported top challenge. Therefore, research was conducted to explore lean principles to improve productivity. A probabilistic model representing a spectrum of variables and their associated uncertainty was built according to the DSS framework to evaluate the financial risk for VF projects. This enabled flexible computation without precise production or financial data to improve economic estimation accuracy. The model assessed two VPF cases (one in the UK and another in Japan), demonstrating the first risk and uncertainty quantification of VPF business models in the literature. The results highlighted measures to improve economic viability and the viability of the UK and Japan case. The environmental impact assessment model was developed, allowing VPF operators to evaluate their carbon footprint compared to traditional agriculture using life-cycle assessment. I explore strategies for net-zero carbon production through sensitivity analysis. Renewable energies, especially solar, geothermal, and tidal power, show promise for reducing the carbon emissions of indoor VPF. Results show that renewably-powered VPF can reduce carbon emissions compared to field-based agriculture when considering the land-use change. The drivers for DSS adoption have been researched, showing a pathway of compliance and design thinking to overcome the ‘problem of implementation’ and enable commercialisation. Further work is suggested to standardise VF equipment, collect benchmarking data, and characterise risks. This work will reduce risk and uncertainty and accelerate the sector’s emergence

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

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    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Intra-annual taxonomic and phenological drivers of spectral variance in grasslands

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    According to the Spectral Variation Hypothesis (SVH), spectral variance has the potential to predict taxonomic composition in grasslands over time. However, in previous studies the relationship has been found to be unstable. We hypothesise that the diversity of phenological stages is also a driver of spectral variance and could act to confound the species signal. To test this concept, intra-annual repeat spectral and botanical sampling was performed at the quadrat scale at two grassland sites, one displaying high species diversity and the other low species diversity. Six botanical metrics were used, three taxonomy based and three phenology based. Using uni-temporal linear permutation models, we found that the SVH only held at the high diversity site and only for certain metrics and at particular time points. We tested the seasonal influence of the taxonomic and phenological metrics on spectral variance using linear mixed models. A significant interaction term of percent mature leaves and species diversity was found, with the most parsimonious model explaining 43% of the intra-annual change. These results indicate that the dominant canopy phenology stage is a confounding variable when examining the spectral variance -species diversity relationship. We emphasise the challenges that exist in tracking species or phenology-based metrics in grasslands using spectral variance but encourage further research that contextualises spectral variance data within seasonal plant development alongside other canopy structural and leaf traits

    Diversidade e abundùncia de comunidades de micromamíferos em plantaçÔes de eucalipto portuguesas

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    Eucalyptus plantation forests have been increasing worldwide in the past years to fulfil all the lignocellulosic demands of humans. Eucalyptus globulos is one of the most planted species, particularly in Europe, with Portugal being the largest producer. Its properties of fast growth, good wood quality, coppice system and low maintenance requirements allows outstanding performances and makes them ideal cash crops. Considering the extension of eucalyptus plantations in Portugal it is crucial to understand their impacts in the usage patterns of space by populations, especially those that use landscape in smaller scales – small mammals. The present study intents to evaluate the patterns of diversity and occurrence of small mammal communities (especially rodents from Muridae family) present in the eucalypts plantations of Central Portugal and identify the factors determining those patterns. Thus, four hypotheses were formulated, which state that murid occurrence is determined by: (H1) local land cover composition and structure; (H2) disturbances by predators and ungulates and fire events; (H3) type of soil; and (H4) sampling season. In general, diversity is smaller in plantations than in native areas and murid occurrence (the only taxa with sufficient data to be analysed) is promoted by leaf litter absence of (more trophic resources) and by recent fires (reduction of predatory pressure). This work shows that in spite of being impoverished, eucalypts sustain some species of small mammals, whose ecological patters do not seem to be affected by the eucalypts itself, but instead by an array of natural environmental factors, as well as anthropic.As florestas de plantação de eucaliptos tem vindo a aumentar no planeta nos Ășltimos anos de modo a satisfazer todas as necessidades lenho-celulĂłsicas do ser humano. Eucalyptus globulos Ă© uma das espĂ©cies mais plantadas, particularmente na Europa, onde Portugal Ă© o maior produtor. As suas propriedades de rĂĄpido crescimento, madeira de boa qualidade, sistema de talhadia e baixa manutenção permite uma performance excecional e torna-as produçÔes de elevada rendibilidade. Tendo em conta a extensĂŁo das plantaçÔes de eucalipto em Portugal Ă© crucial perceber qual o seu impacto nos padrĂ”es de uso do espaço das populaçÔes residentes, em especial aquela que usam a paisagem a escalas pequenas - MicromamĂ­feros. O presente estudo pretende avaliar quais os padrĂ”es de diversidade e ocorrĂȘncia das comunidades de micromamĂ­feros (em especial roedores Muridae) presentes nos eucaliptais do Centro de Portugal e identificar os fatores que determinam esses padrĂ”es. Assim, foram formuladas quatro hipĂłteses, que defendem que a ocorrĂȘncia de MurĂ­deos Ă© determinada pela/o(s): (H1) composição e estrutura local da cobertura do solo; (H2) perturbaçÔes de predadores, ungulados e ocorrĂȘncia de fogos; (H3) tipo de solo; e (H4) Ă©poca de amostragem. No geral, a diversidade Ă© menor nas plantaçÔes que nas ĂĄreas nativas e a ocorrĂȘncia dos roedores MurĂ­deos (Ășnica taxa com dados suficientes para serem analisados) Ă© promovida pela ausĂȘncia de manta morta (mais recursos trĂłficos) e por fogo recente (redução da pressĂŁo predatĂłria). Este trabalho mostra que apesar de depauperado, os eucaliptos sustentam algumas espĂ©cies de micromamĂ­feros, cujos padrĂ”es ecolĂłgicos nĂŁo parecem ser afetados pelo eucaliptal em si, mas por um conjunto de fatores ambientais naturais e antrĂłpicos.Mestrado em Biologia Aplicad