European Academy of Bolzano Bozen

Bolzano, Italy

European Academy of Bolzano Bozen

Bolzano, Italy
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Antonucci D.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Antonucci D.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano | Filippi Oberegger U.F.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Pasut W.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Gasparella A.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2017

ARX models are an effective instrument to evaluate continuous building performance from insufficient monitoring data. However, selecting the right model features is NP-hard. The problem of finding a minimal subset of informative inputs has been studied extensively in various fields but automatic, fast, and reliable procedures for finding optimal models for building performance evaluation are still missing. We propose a novel feature selection algorithm named Greedy Correlation Screening (GCS), which identifies a possible solution at a time by greedily maximizing the correlation between inputs and output and minimizing cross-correlations between inputs. These two objectives are competing, thus leading to best tradeoffs. Among these, the best model is automatically selected by applying filters and quality criteria such as the adjusted coefficient of correlation and non-correlation of residuals. The performance of the proposed heuristic method is compared to two of the best algorithms used in the field, such as GRASP for feature selection and NSGA-II (Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm). The application on a real case study demonstrates that the proposed method solves the problem of feature selection in building performance estimation efficiently and reliably. Moreover, the model creation is automatic, making it ideal for integration into a Building Management System (BMS) in order to detect faults and perform short-term predictive control. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Luth C.,University of Innsbruck | Tasser E.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Niedrist G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Via J.D.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Tappeiner U.,University of Innsbruck
Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants | Year: 2011

Apart from forests, the landscape of the Alps is dominated by grasslands, where they account for up to 40% of the agricultural area. This study focuses on the main man-made grassland plant communities of the Eastern Alps, shows their current spatial distribution and examines how strongly the influence of land use and site factors determines the communities. Discriminant analysis was used to harmonize the phytosociological classification of 1502 vegetation relevés from the literature and 375 own recorded inventories from Western Austria and Northern Italy. Land-use intensity, altitude, slope and pH were also recorded, in order to assess the impact of the factors to plant communities, as calculated in nonmetric multidimensional scaling. We identified 39 plant communities and generated a table with the main ecological and floristic parameters as well as a map showing their present spatial distribution. Contrary to the literature, the pasture communities Crepido-Festucetum commutatae, Deschampsio cespitosae-Poetum alpinae and Rumicetum alpini occur also in fertilized meadows. On the other hand we found meadow communities occurring in pastures, such as the Angelico-Cirsietum oleracei, the Pastinaco-Arrhenatheretum, the Ranunculo repentis-Alopecuretum pratensis and the Trisetetum flavescentis. The most species-rich communities - the Caricetum ferruginei and the Seslerio-Caricetum sempervirentis - occur in unfertilized meadows above calcareous bedrock. Further species-rich communities - the Campanulo scheuchzeri-Festucetum noricae, the Gentianello anisodontae-Festucetum variae, the Pulsatillo alpinae-Festucetum noricae, the Trifolio thallii-Festucetum nigricantis and the Hypochoerido uniflorae-Festucetum paniculatae - are endangered: they are regionally restricted and depend on the absence of fertilizer and on mowing once annually or every second or third year. Therefore agri-environmental measures should focus on unfertilized mountain meadows, in order to conserve these rare grassland communities. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH.

Luth C.,University of Innsbruck | Tasser E.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Niedrist G.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Dalla Via J.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | And 2 more authors.
Plant Ecology | Year: 2011

The Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae is one of the most widespread plant communities in (sub-) alpine regions of the Alps. Our study examines the composition, ecology and distribution of this plant community in the Eastern Alps and addresses the issue of how the community is to be classified in the phytosociological system of Nardus-rich grasslands. Therefore, 357 vegetation relevés were taken from the literature and 115 from our own inventories were recorded from 2005 to 2007 in Western Austria (mostly Tyrol) and Northern Italy (mostly South Tyrol). Additionally, indicator values of Ellenberg and land-use information were used to help better interpret the ecological site conditions of the subgroups. The HCA revealed there the existence of four groups of the Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae, which were classified to subassociations: (1) typicum, (2) vaccinietosum, (3) trifolietosum pratensis, and (4) seslerietosum albicantis. Besides the specific plant composition, altitude specifies the first, land-use intensity the second and third, and the pH of the topsoil the fourth subassociation. For the Eastern Alps, the plant community of the Sieversio montanae-Nardetum strictae should now be reclassified in the order of Nardetalia and the class of Calluno-Ulicetea. Finally, this plant community can be further classified by using the four above-mentioned subassociations. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Reyer C.P.O.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Leuzinger S.,Auckland University of Technology | Leuzinger S.,ETH Zurich | Leuzinger S.,University of Basel | And 21 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

We review observational, experimental, and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean climatic conditions and changing climatic variability on terrestrial ecosystems is generally underrated in current studies. The goals of our review are thus (1) to identify plant processes that are vulnerable to changes in the variability of climatic variables rather than to changes in their mean, and (2) to depict/evaluate available study designs to quantify responses of plants to changing climatic variability. We find that phenology is largely affected by changing mean climate but also that impacts of climatic variability are much less studied, although potentially damaging. We note that plant water relations seem to be very vulnerable to extremes driven by changes in temperature and precipitation and that heatwaves and flooding have stronger impacts on physiological processes than changing mean climate. Moreover, interacting phenological and physiological processes are likely to further complicate plant responses to changing climatic variability. Phenological and physiological processes and their interactions culminate in even more sophisticated responses to changing mean climate and climatic variability at the species and community level. Generally, observational studies are well suited to study plant responses to changing mean climate, but less suitable to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant responses to climatic variability. Experiments seem best suited to simulate extreme events. In models, temporal resolution and model structure are crucial to capture plant responses to changing climatic variability. We highlight that a combination of experimental, observational, and/or modeling studies have the potential to overcome important caveats of the respective individual approaches. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PubMed | Imperial College London, Ferrari, European Academy of Bolzano Bozen, Waters Corporation and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of proteome research | Year: 2016

Alzheimers disease (AD) is the most common cause of adult dementia. Yet the complete set of molecular changes accompanying this inexorable, neurodegenerative disease remains elusive. Here we adopted an unbiased lipidomics and metabolomics approach to surveying frozen frontal cortex samples from clinically characterized AD patients (n = 21) and age-matched controls (n = 19), revealing marked molecular differences between them. Then, by means of metabolomic pathway analysis, we incorporated the novel molecular information into the known biochemical pathways and compared it with the results of a metabolomics meta-analysis of previously published AD research. We found six metabolic pathways of the central metabolism as well as glycerophospholipid metabolism predominantly altered in AD brains. Using targeted metabolomics approaches and MS imaging, we confirmed a marked dysregulation of mitochondrial aspartate metabolism. The altered metabolic pathways were further integrated with clinical data, showing various degrees of correlation with parameters of dementia and AD pathology. Our study highlights specific, altered biochemical pathways in the brains of individuals with AD compared with those of control subjects, emphasizing dysregulation of mitochondrial aspartate metabolism and supporting future venues of investigation.

PubMed | European Academy of Bolzano Bozen, Sinopia Biosciences, Reykjavik University and University of Iceland
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Transfusion | Year: 2016

Red blood cells (RBCs) are routinely stored and transfused worldwide. Recently, metabolomics have shown that RBCs experience a three-phase metabolic decay process during storage, resulting in the definition of three distinct metabolic phenotypes, occurring between Days 1 and 10, 11 and 17, and 18 and 46. Here we use metabolomics and stable isotope labeling analysis to study adenine metabolism in RBCs.A total of 6 units were prepared in SAGM or modified additive solutions (ASs) containing We increased adenine concentration in the AS and we pulsed the adenine concentration during storage and found that in both cases the RBCs main metabolic pathways were not affected. Our data clearly show that RBCs cannot consume adenine after 18 days of storage, even if it is still present in the storage solution. However, increased levels of adenine influenced S-adenosylmethionine metabolism.In this work, we have studied in detail the metabolic fate of adenine during RBC storage in SAGM. Adenine is one of the main substrates used by RBCs, but the metabolic shift observed during storage is not caused by an absence of adenine later in storage. The rate of adenine consumption strongly correlated with duration of storage but not with the amount of adenine present in the AS.

PubMed | University of Iceland, European Academy of Bolzano Bozen and Reykjavik University
Type: | Journal: Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences | Year: 2016

Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) deficiency is a hereditary disorder that leads to excessive urinary excretion of 2,8-dihydroxyadenine (DHA), causing nephrolithiasis and chronic kidney disease. Treatment with allopurinol or febuxostat reduces DHA production and attenuates the renal manifestations. Assessment of DHA crystalluria by urine microscopy is used for therapeutic monitoring, but lacks sensitivity. We report a high-throughput assay based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) for quantification of urinary DHA. The UPLC-MS/MS assay was optimized by a chemometric approach for absolute quantification of DHA, utilizing isotopically labeled DHA as an internal standard. Experimental screening was conducted with D-optimal design and optimization of the DHA response was performed with central composite face design and related to the peak area of DHA using partial least square regression. Acceptable precision and accuracy of the DHA concentration were obtained over a calibration range of 100 to 5000ng/mL on three different days. The intra- and inter-day accuracy and precision coefficients of variation were well within 15% for quality control samples analyzed in replicates of six at three concentration levels. Absolute quantification of DHA in urine samples from patients with APRT deficiency was achieved wihtin 6.5min. Measurement of DHA in 24h urine samples from three patients with APRT deficiency, diluted 1:15 (v/v) with 10mM ammonium hydroxide (NH

PubMed | European Academy of Bolzano Bozen, University of Molise, University of Foggia and Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Of Puglia E Basilicata
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Element profiling is an interesting approach for understanding neurodegenerative processes, considering that compelling evidences show that element toxicity might play a crucial role in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease (AD). Aim of this study was to profile 22 serum elements in subjects with or at risk of AD. Thirtyfour patients with probable AD, 20 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 24 with subjective memory complaint (SMC) and 40 healthy subjects (HS) were included in the study. Manganese, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, thallium, antimony, mercury, vanadium and molybdenum changed significantly among the 4 groups. Several essential elements, such as manganese, selenium, zinc and iron tended to increase in SMC and then progressively to decrease in MCI and AD. Toxic elements show a variable behavior, since some elements tended to increase, while others tended to decrease in AD. A multivariate model, built using a panel of six essential elements (manganese, iron, copper, zinc, selenium and calcium) and their ratios, discriminated AD patients from HS with over 90% accuracy. These findings suggest that essential and toxic elements contribute to generate a distinctive signature during the progression of AD, and their monitoring in elderly might help to detect preclinical stages of AD.

PubMed | European Academy of Bolzano Bozen and University of Parma
Type: Review | Journal: Toxins | Year: 2016

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic fungi in crops worldwide. These compounds can undergo modification in plants, leading to the formation of a large number of possible modified forms, whose toxicological relevance and occurrence in food and feed is still largely unexplored. The analysis of modified mycotoxins by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry remains a challenge because of their chemical diversity, the large number of isomeric forms, and the lack of analytical standards. Here, the potential benefits of high-resolution and ion mobility mass spectrometry as a tool for separation and structure confirmation of modified mycotoxins have been investigated/reviewed.

Pechlaner H.,Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt | Volgger M.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen | Herntrei M.,European Academy of Bolzano Bozen
Anatolia | Year: 2012

Destination management organizations (DMOs) play a major role in managing destination networks and in fostering cooperation between destination actors. DMOs are central figures in the governance of tourism destinations. However, being organizations, their operations are also judged according to their organizational efficiency and effectiveness. This paper applies the concept of corporate governance to capture these internal performance indicators, and investigates its relationship to the external performance of DMOs as promoters of cooperation. Very few studies have considered such inter-dependencies between DMO performance and destination performance; and even fewer have explicitly analysed the relationships between the destination governance and the corporate governance of DMOs. Therefore, this research uses an exploratory, theory-generating case study approach to develop testable hypotheses for future generalizing research attempts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with several destination actors, and qualitatively analysed using the GABEK toolset. From this qualitative analysis four hypotheses emerged, which generally indicate a positive link between a DMO's corporate governance characterized by a broad stakeholder involvement, an efficient way of working, visible signs of performance on the one hand, and both the DMO acceptance and the level of cooperation in the destination on the other hand. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

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