34,951 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

    Grand challenges in entomology: Priorities for action in the coming decades

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    Entomology is key to understanding terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems at a time of unprecedented anthropogenic environmental change and offers substantial untapped potential to benefit humanity in a variety of ways, from improving agricultural practices to managing vector-borne diseases and inspiring technological advances. We identified high priority challenges for entomology using an inclusive, open, and democratic four-stage prioritisation approach, conducted among the membership and affiliates (hereafter ‘members’) of the UK-based Royal Entomological Society (RES). A list of 710 challenges was gathered from 189 RES members. Thematic analysis was used to group suggestions, followed by an online vote to determine initial priorities, which were subsequently ranked during an online workshop involving 37 participants. The outcome was a set of 61 priority challenges within four groupings of related themes: (i) ‘Fundamental Research’ (themes: Taxonomy, ‘Blue Skies’ [defined as research ideas without immediate practical application], Methods and Techniques); (ii) ‘Anthropogenic Impacts and Conservation’ (themes: Anthropogenic Impacts, Conservation Options); (iii) ‘Uses, Ecosystem Services and Disservices’ (themes: Ecosystem Benefits, Technology and Resources [use of insects as a resource, or as inspiration], Pests); (iv) ‘Collaboration, Engagement and Training’ (themes: Knowledge Access, Training and Collaboration, Societal Engagement). Priority challenges encompass research questions, funding objectives, new technologies, and priorities for outreach and engagement. Examples include training taxonomists, establishing a global network of insect monitoring sites, understanding the extent of insect declines, exploring roles of cultivated insects in food supply chains, and connecting professional with amateur entomologists. Responses to different challenges could be led by amateur and professional entomologists, at all career stages. Overall, the challenges provide a diverse array of options to inspire and initiate entomological activities and reveal the potential of entomology to contribute to addressing global challenges related to human health and well-being, and environmental change

    Comedians without a Cause: The Politics and Aesthetics of Humour in Dutch Cabaret (1966-2020)

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    Comedians play an important role in society and public debate. While comedians have been considered important cultural critics for quite some time, comedy has acquired a new social and political significance in recent years, with humour taking centre stage in political and social debates around issues of identity, social justice, and freedom of speech. To understand the shifting meanings and political implications of humour within a Dutch context, this PhD thesis examines the political and aesthetic workings of humour in the highly popular Dutch cabaret genre, focusing on cabaret performances from the 1960s to the present. The central questions of the thesis are: how do comedians use humour to deliver social critique, and how does their humour resonate with political ideologies? These questions are answered by adopting a cultural studies approach to humour, which is used to analyse Dutch cabaret performances, and by studying related materials such as reviews and media interviews with comedians. This thesis shows that, from the 1960s onwards, Dutch comedians have been considered ‘progressive rebels’ – politically engaged, subversive, and carrying a left-wing political agenda – but that this image is in need of correction. While we tend to look for progressive political messages in the work of comedians who present themselves as being anti-establishment rebels – such as Youp van ‘t Hek, Hans Teeuwen, and Theo Maassen – this thesis demonstrates that their transgressive and provocative humour tends to protect social hierarchies and relationships of power. Moreover, it shows that, paradoxically, both the deliberately moderate and nuanced humour of Wim Kan and Claudia de Breij, and the seemingly past-oriented nostalgia of Alex Klaasen, are more radical and progressive than the transgressive humour of van ‘t Hek, Teeuwen and Maassen. Finally, comedians who present absurdist or deconstructionist forms of humour, such as the early student cabarets, Freek de Jonge, and Micha Wertheim, tend to disassociate themselves from an explicit political engagement. By challenging the dominant image of the Dutch comedian as a ‘progressive rebel,’ this thesis contributes to a better understanding of humour in the present cultural moment, in which humour is often either not taken seriously, or one-sidedly celebrated as being merely pleasurable, innocent, or progressively liberating. In so doing, this thesis concludes, the ‘dark’ and more conservative sides of humour tend to get obscured

    Subsidiary Entrepreneurial Alertness: Antecedents and Outcomes

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    This thesis brings together concepts from both international business and entrepreneurship to develop a framework of the facilitators of subsidiary innovation and performance. This study proposes that Subsidiary Entrepreneurial Alertness (SEA) facilitates the recognition of opportunities (the origin of subsidiary initiatives). First introduced by Kirzner (1979) in the context of the individual, entrepreneurial alertness (EA) is the ability to notice an opportunity without actively searching. Similarly, to entrepreneurial alertness at the individual level, this study argues that SEA enables the subsidiary to best select opportunities based on resources available. The research further develops our conceptualisation of SEA by drawing on work by Tang et al. (2012) identifying three distinct activities of EA: scanning and search (identifying opportunities unseen by others due to their awareness gaps), association and connection of information, and evaluation and judgement to interpret or anticipate future viability of opportunities. This study then hypothesises that SEA leads to opportunity recognition at the subsidiary level and further hypothesises innovation and performance as outcomes of opportunity recognition. This research brings these arguments together to develop and test a comprehensive theoretical model. The theoretical model is tested through a mail survey of the CEOs/MDs of foreign subsidiaries within the Republic of Ireland (an innovative hub for foreign subsidiaries). This method was selected as the best method to reach the targeted respondent, and due to the depth of knowledge the target respondent holds, the survey can answer the desired question more substantially. The results were examined using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). The study’s findings confirm two critical aspects of subsidiary context, subsidiary brokerage and subsidiary credibility are positively related to SEA. The study establishes a positive link between SEA and both the generation of innovation and the subsidiary’s performance. This thesis makes three significant contributions to the subsidiary literature as it 1) introduces and develops the concept of SEA, 2) identifies the antecedents of SEA, and 3) demonstrates the impact of SEA on subsidiary opportunity recognition. Implications for subsidiaries, headquarters and policy makers are discussed along with the limitations of the study

    Metaheuristic Optimization-Based Feature Selection for Imagery and Arithmetic Tasks: An fNIRS Study

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    In recent decades, the brain–computer interface (BCI) has emerged as a leading area of research. The feature selection is vital to reduce the dataset’s dimensionality, increase the computing effectiveness, and enhance the BCI’s performance. Using activity-related features leads to a high classification rate among the desired tasks. This study presents a wrapper-based metaheuristic feature selection framework for BCI applications using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Here, the temporal statistical features (i.e., the mean, slope, maximum, skewness, and kurtosis) were computed from all the available channels to form a training vector. Seven metaheuristic optimization algorithms were tested for their classification performance using a k-nearest neighbor-based cost function: particle swarm optimization, cuckoo search optimization, the firefly algorithm, the bat algorithm, flower pollination optimization, whale optimization, and grey wolf optimization (GWO). The presented approach was validated based on an available online dataset of motor imagery (MI) and mental arithmetic (MA) tasks from 29 healthy subjects. The results showed that the classification accuracy was significantly improved by utilizing the features selected from the metaheuristic optimization algorithms relative to those obtained from the full set of features. All of the abovementioned metaheuristic algorithms improved the classification accuracy and reduced the feature vector size. The GWO yielded the highest average classification rates (p < 0.01) of 94.83 ± 5.5%, 92.57 ± 6.9%, and 85.66 ± 7.3% for the MA, MI, and four-class (left- and right-hand MI, MA, and baseline) tasks, respectively. The presented framework may be helpful in the training phase for selecting the appropriate features for robust fNIRS-based BCI applications

    A comprehensive analysis on the ecosystem services of Elaeocarpus L. (Elaeocarpaceae): a review

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    The Elaeocarpus is considered the largest genus in the family Elaeocarpaceae. It is commonly called ‘Rudraksha’ in India and has a noteworthy attachment with the Indians, mostly Hindus. The plant is known for its beneficial aspects and supply of various ecosystem services, particularly in medicinal sciences. The present study provides a comprehensive review of the genus Elaeocarpus for its ecosystem services in the context of human wellbeing. A literature survey was conducted from 1970 to 2020 on internet scientific databases such as Scopus, Science Direct, Google Scholar, PubMed, and Web of Science using strings such as, Elaeocarpus, Rudraksha, medicine, conservation, tradition, and services. One hundred two publications were considered for data extraction and finalising the review. Firstly, we classified the ecosystem services under respective classes as provided by MEA (2005), and the remaining benefits that didn’t fit under the classification were presented separately. It has been reported that Rudraksha delivers all categories of ecosystem services: provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. In addition, the Rudraksha plant owes a high status in medicinal science, ayurveda, and religious mythology. In the last five decades, studies were conducted on various species of Elaeocarpus for their beneficial aspects. It was found that Elaeocarpus plants have a vital role in ayurveda, pharmaceuticals, and pharmacological and astrological science. In addition, they have been used as food, firewood, timber, and the production of secondary metabolites and their role in cultural and religious dimensions are very clearly discussed. The provisioning and cultural services delivered by Rudraksha constitute only 30% and 10% of the services mentioned in MEA (2005). However, only a little research has been conducted on regulatory and supporting services provided by Rudraksha. Therefore, for a long-term sustainability and multifunctionality assessment, the extension of ecosystem services regarding individual plant’s (tree) services should be highly recommended. Hence, the present review investigates the scientific knowledge about the ecosystem services of the Elaeocarpus

    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
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