466 research outputs found

    Scalarization and sensitivity analysis in Vector Optimization. The linear case.

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    In this paper we consider a vector optimization problem; we present some scalarization techniques for finding all the vector optimal points of this problem and we discuss the relationships between these methods. Moreover, in the linear case, the study of dual variables is carried on by means of sensitivity analysis and also by a parametric approach. We also give an interpretation of the dual variables as marginal rates of substitution of an objective function with respect to another one, and of an objective function with respect to a constraint.Vector Optimization, Image Space, Separation, Scalarization, Shadow Prices

    Stand age, degree of encroachment and soil characteristics modulate changes of C and N cycles in dry grassland soils invaded by the N2-fixing shrub Amorpha fruticosa.

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    The N2-fixing shrub Amorpha fruticosa L. is rapidly spreading in the dry riparian natural grasslands of Europe, altering ecosystem functions and depleting plant diversity. Alteration of the N cycle represents the key factor involved in invasions by N2-fixing plants with cascading effects on plant species richness. We hypothesized that A. fruticosa encroachment strongly impacts not only the N but also the C cycle and that the magnitude of such alterations may be modulated by soil characteristics. To test these hypotheses, we selected four river floodplains in North East of Italy and compared natural uninvaded grasslands with half invaded and completely invaded sites, based on A. fruticosa stand characteristic and relevant leaf traits and on soil properties related to soil texture and to C and N cycles. Soil organic matter mineralisation, ammonification and nitrification rates were determined. Soil nitrification increased remarkably with plant invasion while ammonification was significantly higher only in half invaded sites. Soil organic matter mineralisation, microbial biomass C sustained per soil organic C unit and nitrification positively correlated with stand age, regardless to the stage of the encroachment. Mineralisation and nitrification increased with soil organic C and total N in uninvaded and completely invaded sites, but decreased in half invaded sites. At the half invasion stage, trends in nitrification and CO2 mineralisation were transitionally reverted and remediation may be facilitated by less pronounced changes in soil properties compared to completely invaded sites. Direct effects of plant invasion are modulated by the action of soil characteristics such as soil organic C and clay contents, with soils rich in organic C showing larger nitrification and mineralisation rates

    Ecophysiology of Tilia americana under ozone fumigation

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    The negative effects of the pollutant gas ozone are widely studied in many plant species, but the intimate mechanisms of toxicity have not been completely defined. Generally this contaminant or its free radical by–products impair membrane functions, leading to declines in physiological processes, accelerated foliar senescence and premature leaf abscission. Trees of the genus Tilia do not show any foliar injury induced by ozone under natural conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of this pollutant on ecophysiological and biochemical parameters of T. Americana saplings exposed to a fumigation (120 ppb for 45 consecutive days, 5 h d–1). At the end of treatment, even if plants did not exhibit any visible foliar injury, several parameters were significantly affected: stomatal conductance for water vapor (–15% compared to control), net photosynthesis (–39%), intercellular CO2 concentration (+30%), as well as chlorophyll fluorescence indexes. After 45 days of fumigation neo–, viola– and anteraxanthin content significantly decreased (–25%, –34% and –63%, respectively, in comparison with controls), but no zeaxanthin induction was detected, suggesting that exposure did not activate the xanthopyll cycle. Under these circumstances, this species should be regarded as “middle tolerant/sensitive”

    A meta-analysis of plant tissue O2 dynamics

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    Adequate tissue O2 supply is crucial for plant function. We aimed to identify the environmental conditions and plant characteristics that affect plant tissue O2 status. We extracted data and performed meta-analysis on >1500 published tissue O2 measurements from 112 species. Tissue O2 status ranged from anoxic conditions in roots to >53kPa in submerged, photosynthesising shoots. Using information-theoretic model selection, we identified 'submergence', 'light', 'tissue type' as well as 'light×submergence' interaction as significant drivers of tissue O2 status. Median O2 status were especially low (<50% of atmospheric equilibrium) in belowground rhizomes, potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers and root nodules. Mean shoot and root O2 were ~25% higher in light than in dark when shoots had atmospheric contact. However, light showed a significant interaction with submergence on plant O2, with a submergence-induced 44% increase in light, compared with a 42% decline in dark, relative to plants with atmospheric contact. During submergence, ambient water column O2 and shoot tissue O2 correlated stronger in darkness than in light conditions. Although use of miniaturised Clark-type O2 electrodes has enhanced understanding of plant O2 dynamics, application of non-invasive methods in plants is still lacking behind its widespread use in mammalian tissues

    An enjoyable shopping experience enhances store loyalty

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    Il crescente numero di persone che viaggiano per affari e vacanza ha portato ad identificare un emergente ed interessante target di consumatori, definiti “On the Move”, i quali sono disposti ad effettuare gli acquisti nel contesto del viaggio. Questa nuova tendenza d’acquisto ha spinto i gestori delle aree di servizio autostradali ad estendere la loro offerta dal settore Food and Beverage (F&B) verso il retail grocery. Il principale contributo di questo lavoro è la concettualizzazione e validazione di un modello strutturale nel quale si definisce la Store Loyalty per mezzo dei suoi principali antecedenti quali Trust e Satisfaction, nonché mediante altri costrutti ad oggi meno indagati come Enjoyment e Convenience, quest’ultima nella doppia accezione di Ricerca e Transazione. Sono stati raccolti 606 questionari da un campione di consumatori “On the Move”. Il Modello di Equazioni Strutturali proposto, mostra buoni livelli di fit ed è in grado di spiegare circa il 66% della store loyalty. I risultati mostrano che un’esperienza di acquisto piacevole agisce positivamente sulla fedeltà all’Insegna. Inoltre, è emerso che la convenienza nella ricerca ha effetti positivi sulla fedeltà, mentre la convenienza nella transazione impatta negativamente sulla fedeltà. Infine, i risultati mostrano che l’effetto della soddisfazione sulla fedeltà è mediato della fiducia. I distributori nella ricerca di fidelizzare il cliente dovrebbero attuare strategie che rendano l’esperienza d’acquisto piacevole, facile e veloce. Inoltre, i clienti soddisfatti mostrano maggiore fiducia verso l’offerta generale del retailer impattando positivamente sulla loro fedeltà all’insegna

    Spunti in tema di riforma delle impugnazioni penali. Un'analisi dell'evoluzione della materia dalla Carta di Napoli al d.d.l. S.N. 2067

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    Il presente lavoro si propone di esaminare l’evoluzione che ha caratterizzato la tecnica delle impugnazioni, le quali a partire dall’entrata in vigore del codice di procedura penale del 1988 sono state oggetto di numerosi interventi dovuti all’esigenza di adeguare la materia alle caratteristiche del nuovo rito, di stampo accusatorio

    Optimal concentration of organic solvents to be used in the broth microdilution method to determine the antimicrobial activity of natural products against Paenibacillus larvae

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    American Foulbrood (AFB) is a bacterial disease, caused by Paenibacillus larvae, that affects honeybees (Apis mellifera). Alternative strategies to control AFB are based on the treatment of the beehives with antimicrobial natural substances such as extracts, essential oils and/or pure compounds from plants, honey by-products, bacteria and moulds. The broth microdilution method is currently one of the most widely used methods to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of a substance. In this regard, the fact that most natural products, due to their lipophilic nature, must be dissolved in organic solvents or their aqueous mixtures is an issue of major concern because the organic solvent becomes part of the dilution in the incubation medium, and therefore, can interfere with bacterial viability depending on its nature and concentration. A systematic study was carried out to determine by the broth microdilution method the MIC and the maximum non inhibitory concentration (MNIC) against P. larvae of the most common organic solvents used to extract or dissolve natural products, i.e. ethanol, methanol, acetonitrile, n-butanol, dimethylsulfoxide, and acidified hydromethanolic solutions. From the MIC and MNIC for each organic solvent, recommended maximum concentrations in contact with P. larvae were established: DMSO 5% (v/v), acetonitrile 7.5% (v/v), ethanol 7.5% (v/v), methanol 12% (v/v), n-butanol 1% (v/v), and methanol-water-acetic acid (1.25:98.71:0.04, v/v/v).Fil: Cugnata, Noelia Melina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Mar del Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Biología; ArgentinaFil: Guaspari, Elisa. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Mar del Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Biología; ArgentinaFil: Pellegrini, María Celeste. Provincia de Buenos Aires. Gobernación. Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Biología; ArgentinaFil: Fuselli, Sandra Rosa. Provincia de Buenos Aires. Gobernación. Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Biología; ArgentinaFil: Alonso Salces, Rosa Maria. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - Mar del Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Departamento de Biología; Argentin

    Ecophysiological and antioxidant traits of Salvia officinalis under ozone stress

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    Ecophysiological and antioxidant traits were evaluated in sage (Salvia officinalis) plants exposed to 120 ppb of ozone for 90 consecutive days (5 h day−1). At the end of fumigation, plants showed slight leaf yellowing that could be considered the first visual symptom of leaf senescence. Ozone-stressed leaves showed (1) reduced photosynthetic activity (−70 % at the end of exposure), (2) chlorophyll loss (−59 and −56 % of chlorophyll a and b concentrations, starting from 30 days from the beginning of exposure), and (3) cellular water deficit (−12 % of the relative water content at the end of the fumigation). These phenomena are indicative of oxidative stress in the chloroplasts (as confirmed by the strong degradation of β-carotene) despite the photoprotection conferred by xanthophyll cycle [as demonstrated by the significant rise of de-epoxidation index, reaching the maximum value at the end of the treatment (+69 %)], antioxidant compounds [as confirmed by the increase of phenols (in particular caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid)], and water-soluble carbohydrates (especially monosaccharides). By means of combined ecophysiological and biochemical approaches, this study demonstrates that S. officinalis is able to activate an adaptive survival mechanism allowing the plant to complete its life cycle even under oxidative stressful conditions

    METHANE AND CARBON DIOXIDE FLUXES FROM LIMONIUM RESIDUES DECOMPOSITION IN SALTMARSH SOILS: EFFECTS OF TIDE REGIME

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    The flooding regime of saltmarshes strongly affects organic matter mineralisation, representing a unique situation where oxygen diffusion is either impeded by submersion or favoured by retreating water in regular cycles within the same day. Decomposition of Limonium vulgare Mill. residues in saltmarsh soils was evaluated measuring CO2 and CH4 emissions. Four different saltmarshes from the Grado Lagoon (Northern Adriatic Sea) were investigated. Soils were characterised by a similar vegetation (Sarcocornietea class) and similar high coverage of L. vulgare (70-75%) but differed in redox potential, texture and organic carbon content. Hydromorphic conditions were reproduced in mesocosms, and soils were incubated under fully aerobic, fully anaerobic and transient (6 hours cycles) tidal states. Partially decomposed litter (leaves) of L. vulgare was added and decomposition processes were monitored through CO2 and CH4 emissions. Larger CO2 emissions were measured under aerobic conditions, in particular in soil samples with coarse texture. Fully anoxic and tidal regimes showed a similar behaviour. On the contrary, CH4 emissions were less dependent upon flooding, showing only slightly larger values under completely submerged conditions. Larger CH4 emissions have been obtained in fine textured soils. Soil organic matter content also influenced gas emissions: larger values corresponded to higher emissions of both CO2 and CH4

    A molecular state of correlated electrons in a quantum dot

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    Correlation among particles in finite quantum systems leads to complex behaviour and novel states of matter. One remarkable example is predicted to occur in a semiconductor quantum dot (QD) where at vanishing density the Coulomb correlation among electrons rigidly fixes their relative position as that of the nuclei in a molecule. In this limit, the neutral few-body excitations are roto-vibrations, which have either rigid-rotor or relative-motion character. In the weak-correlation regime, on the contrary, the Coriolis force mixes rotational and vibrational motions. Here we report evidence of roto-vibrational modes of an electron molecular state at densities for which electron localization is not yet fully achieved. We probe these collective modes by inelastic light scattering in QDs containing four electrons. Spectra of low-lying excitations associated to changes of the relative-motion wave function -the analogues of the vibration modes of a conventional molecule- do not depend on the rotational state represented by the total angular momentum. Theoretical simulations via the configuration-interaction (CI) method are in agreement with the observed roto-vibrational modes and indicate that such molecular excitations develop at the onset of short-range correlation.Comment: PDF file only; 24 pages, 7 figures, 2 table. Supplementary Information include
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