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Paulo César de Faccio Carvalho, Caitlin Adair Peterson, Pedro Arthur de Albuquerque Nunes, Amanda Posselt Martins, William de Souzsa Filho, Vanessa Thoma Bertolazi, Taíse Robinson Kunrath, Aníbal de Moraes, Ibanor Anghinoni
Sustainable intensification of land-use practices has never been more important to ensure food security for a growing world population. When combined under thoughtful management, cover cropping and crop-livestock integration under no-till systems can benefit from unexpected synergies due to their unique features of plant-animal diversification and complex agroecosystem functions. Mimicking the nutrient coupling/decoupling processes of natural ecosystems by diversifying plant and animal components of no-till integrated crop-livestock operations is an essential feature of the design of agroecological systems that support self-regulating feedbacks and lend resilience while increasing productivity and ecosystem service provision...
June 16, 2018: Journal of Animal Science
Arndt Feuerbacher, Jonas Luckmann, Ole Boysen, Sabine Zikeli, Harald Grethe
Organic agriculture (OA) is considered a strategy to make agriculture more sustainable. Bhutan has embraced the ambitious goal of becoming the world's first 100% organic nation. By analysing recent on-farm data in Bhutan, we found organic crop yields on average to be 24% lower than conventional yields. Based on these yield gaps, we assess the effects of the 100% organic conversion policy by employing an economy-wide computable general equilibrium (CGE) model with detailed representation of Bhutan's agricultural sector incorporating agroecological zones, crop nutrients, and field operations...
2018: PloS One
Shuwei Lv, Wenguang Wu, Muhua Wang, Rachel S Meyer, Marie-Noelle Ndjiondjop, Lubin Tan, Haiying Zhou, Jianwei Zhang, Yongcai Fu, Hongwei Cai, Chuanqing Sun, Rod A Wing, Zuofeng Zhu
Domestication represents a unique opportunity to study the evolutionary process. The elimination of seed dispersal traits was a key step in the evolution of cereal crops under domestication. Here, we show that ObSH3, a YABBY transcription factor, is required for the development of the seed abscission layer. Moreover, selecting a genomic segment deletion containing SH3 resulted in the loss of seed dispersal in populations of African cultivated rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.). Functional characterization of SH3 and SH4 (another gene controlling seed shattering on chromosome 4) revealed that multiple genes can lead to a spectrum of non-shattering phenotypes, affecting other traits such as ease of threshing that may be important to tune across different agroecologies and postharvest practices...
June 2018: Nature Plants
Jean-Francois Hocquette, Marie-Pierre Ellies-Oury, Michel Lherm, Christele Pineau, Claus Deblitz, Linda Farmer
The European Union (EU) is the world's third largest producer of beef. This contributes to the economy, rural development, social life, culture and gastronomy of Europe. The diversity of breeds, animal types (cows, bulls, steers, heifers) and farming systems (intensive, extensive on permanent or temporary pastures, mixed, breeders, feeders, etc) is a strength, and a weakness as the industry is often fragmented and poorly connected. There are also societal concerns regarding animal welfare and environmental issues, despite some positive environmental impacts of farming systems...
May 24, 2018: Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
Henrique Boriolo Dias, Paulo Cesar Sentelhas
Brazil is the largest sugarcane producer in the world playing a pivotal role on global ethanol production. The sugarcane yield levels across the producing regions of the country vary substantially, resulting in yield gaps of different magnitudes, which represent a huge opportunity for increasing sugarcane and ethanol production. According to that, the present study aimed to investigate the sugarcane yield gap in Brazil, their magnitude and causes (water deficit or crop management), considering a multi-model approach...
May 14, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Sarah A M Perryman, Nathalie I D Castells-Brooke, Margaret J Glendining, Keith W T Goulding, Malcolm J Hawkesford, Andy J Macdonald, Richard J Ostler, Paul R Poulton, Christopher J Rawlings, Tony Scott, Paul J Verrier
The electronic Rothamsted Archive, e-RA ( provides a permanent managed database to both securely store and disseminate data from Rothamsted Research's long-term field experiments (since 1843) and meteorological stations (since 1853). Both historical and contemporary data are made available via this online database which provides the scientific community with access to a unique continuous record of agricultural experiments and weather measured since the mid-19th century. Qualitative information, such as treatment and management practices, plans and soil information, accompanies the data and are made available on the e-RA website...
May 15, 2018: Scientific Data
Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, Garey A Fox, Amy Ritter, Oscar Perez-Ovilla, Ismael Rodea-Palomares
Understanding and simulating the fate and transport of pesticides from a field to adjacent receiving water bodies is critical for estimating long-term environmental exposure concentrations (EECs) in regulatory higher-tier environmental exposure assessments (EEA). The potential of field mitigation practices like vegetative filter strips (VFS) to reduce pesticide pollution is receiving increasing attention. Previous research has proposed a modeling framework that links the US Environmental Protection Agency's (US-EPA) PRZM/EXAMS higher-tier EEA with a process-based VFS model (VFSMOD)...
April 1, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Si-Jun Zheng, Fernando A García-Bastidas, Xundong Li, Li Zeng, Tingting Bai, Shengtao Xu, Kesuo Yin, Hongxiang Li, Gang Fu, Yanchun Yu, Liu Yang, Huy Chung Nguyen, Bounneuang Douangboupha, Aye Aye Khaing, Andre Drenth, Michael F Seidl, Harold J G Meijer, Gert H J Kema
Banana is the most popular and most exported fruit and also a major food crop for millions of people around the world. Despite its importance and the presence of serious disease threats, research into this crop is limited. One of those is Panama disease or Fusarium wilt. In the previous century Fusarium wilt wiped out the "Gros Michel" based banana industry in Central America. The epidemic was eventually quenched by planting "Cavendish" bananas. However, 50 years ago the disease recurred, but now on "Cavendish" bananas...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Kate C Mellor, Anne Meyer, Doaa A Elkholly, Guillaume Fournié, Pham T Long, Ken Inui, Pawin Padungtod, Marius Gilbert, Scott H Newman, Timothée Vergne, Dirk U Pfeiffer, Kim B Stevens
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Vietnam since 2003, whilst outbreaks of HPAI H5N6 virus are more recent, having only been reported since 2014. Although the spatial distribution of H5N1 outbreaks and risk factors for virus occurrence has been extensively studied, there have been no comparative studies for H5N6. Data collected through active surveillance of Vietnamese live bird markets (LBMs) between 2011 and 2015 were used to explore and compare the spatiotemporal distributions of H5N1- and H5N6-positive LBMs...
2018: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
María Reguera, Carlos Manuel Conesa, Alejandro Gil-Gómez, Claudia Mónika Haros, Miguel Ángel Pérez-Casas, Vilbett Briones-Labarca, Luis Bolaños, Ildefonso Bonilla, Rodrigo Álvarez, Katherine Pinto, Ángel Mujica, Luisa Bascuñán-Godoy
Quinoa cultivation has been expanded around the world in the last decade and is considered an exceptional crop with the potential of contributing to food security worldwide. The exceptional nutritional value of quinoa seeds relies on their high protein content, their amino acid profile that includes a good balance of essential amino acids, the mineral composition and the presence of antioxidants and other important nutrients such as fiber or vitamins. Although several studies have pointed to the influence of different environmental stresses in certain nutritional components little attention has been paid to the effect of the agroecological context on the nutritional properties of the seeds what may strongly impact on the consumer food's quality...
2018: PeerJ
Gebremedhin Romha, Birhanu Admasu, Tsegaye Hiwot Gebrekidan, Hailelule Aleme, Gebreyohans Gebru
Objective: To evaluate the in vitro antibacterial activities of five plant extracts which have been used as traditional medicines by local healers against three multidrug resistant bacteria, namely, Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , and Pseudomonas aeruginosa . Results: The highest mean zone of inhibition (4.66 mm) was recorded from methanol extract of Calpurnia aurea (Ait.) Benth. at a concentration of 200 mg/ml against S. aureus , followed by Croton macrostachyus Del...
2018: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM
Zhenling Cui, Hongyan Zhang, Xinping Chen, Chaochun Zhang, Wenqi Ma, Chengdong Huang, Weifeng Zhang, Guohua Mi, Yuxin Miao, Xiaolin Li, Qiang Gao, Jianchang Yang, Zhaohui Wang, Youliang Ye, Shiwei Guo, Jianwei Lu, Jianliang Huang, Shihua Lv, Yixiang Sun, Yuanying Liu, Xianlong Peng, Jun Ren, Shiqing Li, Xiping Deng, Xiaojun Shi, Qiang Zhang, Zhiping Yang, Li Tang, Changzhou Wei, Liangliang Jia, Jiwang Zhang, Mingrong He, Yanan Tong, Qiyuan Tang, Xuhua Zhong, Zhaohui Liu, Ning Cao, Changlin Kou, Hao Ying, Yulong Yin, Xiaoqiang Jiao, Qingsong Zhang, Mingsheng Fan, Rongfeng Jiang, Fusuo Zhang, Zhengxia Dou
Sustainably feeding a growing population is a grand challenge, and one that is particularly difficult in regions that are dominated by smallholder farming. Despite local successes, mobilizing vast smallholder communities with science- and evidence-based management practices to simultaneously address production and pollution problems has been infeasible. Here we report the outcome of concerted efforts in engaging millions of Chinese smallholder farmers to adopt enhanced management practices for greater yield and environmental performance...
March 15, 2018: Nature
Leïla Bagny Beilhe, Cyril Piou, Zéphirin Tadu, Régis Babin
The use of ants for biological control of insect pests was the first reported case of conservation biological control. Direct and indirect community interactions between ants and pests lead to differential spatial pattern. We investigated spatial interactions between mirids, the major cocoa pest in West Africa and numerically dominant ant species, using bivariate point pattern analysis to identify potential biological control agents. We assume that potential biological control agents should display negative spatial interactions with mirids considering their niche overlap...
March 2, 2018: Environmental Entomology
J H Britt, R A Cushman, C D Dechow, H Dobson, P Humblot, M F Hutjens, G A Jones, P S Ruegg, I M Sheldon, J S Stevenson
The world's population will reach 10.4 billion in 2067, with 81% residing in Africa or Asia. Arable land available for food production will decrease to 0.15 ha per person. Temperature will increase in tropical and temperate zones, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and this will push growing seasons and dairy farming away from arid areas and into more northern latitudes. Dairy consumption will increase because it provides essential nutrients more efficiently than many other agricultural systems. Dairy farming will become modernized in developing countries and milk production per cow will increase, doubling in countries with advanced dairying systems...
May 2018: Journal of Dairy Science
Navin Ramankutty, Zia Mehrabi, Katharina Waha, Larissa Jarvis, Claire Kremen, Mario Herrero, Loren H Rieseberg
The eighteenth-century Malthusian prediction of population growth outstripping food production has not yet come to bear. Unprecedented agricultural land expansions since 1700, and technological innovations that began in the 1930s, have enabled more calorie production per capita than was ever available before in history. This remarkable success, however, has come at a great cost. Agriculture is a major cause of global environmental degradation. Malnutrition persists among large sections of the population, and a new epidemic of obesity is on the rise...
April 29, 2018: Annual Review of Plant Biology
Adam R Martin, Christine E Hale, Bruno E L Cerabolini, Johannes H C Cornelissen, Joseph Craine, William A Gough, Jens Kattge, Cairan K F Tirona
Leaf Economics Spectrum (LES) trait variation underpins multiple agroecological processes and many prominent crop yield models. While there are numerous independent studies assessing trait variation in crops, to date there have been no comprehensive assessments of intraspecific trait variation (ITV) in LES traits for wheat and maize: the world's most widespread crops. Using trait databases and peer-reviewed literature, we compiled over 700 records of specific leaf area (SLA), maximum photosynthetic rates ( A max ) and leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations, for wheat and maize...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Habtamu Temesgen, Wei Wu, Abiyot Legesse, Eshetu Yirsaw, Belew Bekele
Characterized by high population density on a rugged topography, the Gedeo-Abaya landscape dominantly contains a multi-strata traditional agroforests showing the insight of Gedeo farmers on natural resource management practices. Currently, this area has been losing its resilience and is becoming unable to sustain its inhabitants. Based on both RS-derived and GIS-computed land-use/cover changes (LUCC) as well as socioeconomic validations, this article explored the LUCC and agroecological-based driver patterns in Gedeo-Abaya landscape from 1986 to 2015...
February 23, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Phillip M Stepanian, Charlotte E Wainwright
Bats play an important role in agroecology and are effective bioindicators of environmental conditions, but little is known about their fundamental migration ecology, much less how these systems are responding to global change. Some of the world's largest bat populations occur during the summer in the south-central United States, when millions of pregnant females migrate from lower latitudes to give birth in communal maternity colonies. Despite a relatively large volume of research into these colonies, many fundamental questions regarding their abundance-including their intra- and interseasonal variability-remain unanswered, and even estimating the size of individual populations has been a long-running challenge...
February 14, 2018: Global Change Biology
D J Eastburn, Leslie M Roche, Morgan P Doran, Philip R Blake, Chip S Bouril, George Gamble, Elise S Gornish
The historical management of agroecological systems, such as California's rangelands, have received criticism for a singular focus on agricultural production goals, while society has shifting expectations to the supply of multiple ecosystem services from these working landscapes. The sustainability and the multiple benefits derived from these complex social-ecological systems is increasingly threatened by weed invasion, extreme disturbance, urban development, and the impacts of a rapidly changing and increasingly variable climate...
April 1, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
Adriana P Tofiño Rivera, Mailen Ortega Cuadros, Bertilda Pedraza Claros, Sandra C Perdomo Ayola, Diana Carolina Moya Romero
The effectiveness of Baubassil® (Beauveria bassiana) on the tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus was evaluated. In the in vitro phase, the optimal germination temperature of the fungus was determined by microcultures at 25, 30 and 35°C and the mortality of ticks. In the field, in a randomized design, 30 cebuine cows; 15 cows were treated with Baubassil® once a week at a 1×106 conidia/ml, and a control group was left untreated. It was observed that at temperatures of 25, 30 and 35°C, germination of the entomopathogen was 97...
February 2, 2018: Revista Argentina de Microbiología
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