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Reiss H.,University of Nordland | Birchenough S.,Center for Environment | Borja A.,Tecnalia | Buhl-Mortensen L.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | And 11 more authors.
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2015

Marine benthic ecosystems are difficult to monitor and assess, which is in contrast to modern ecosystem-based management requiring detailed information at all important ecological and anthropogenic impact levels. Ecosystem management needs to ensure a sustainable exploitation of marine resources as well as the protection of sensitive habitats, taking account of potential multiple-use conicts and impacts over large spatial scales. The urgent need for large-scale spatial data on benthic species and communities resulted in an increasing application of distribution modelling (DM). The use of DM techniques enables to employ full spatial coverage data of environmental variables to predict benthic spatial distribution patterns. Especially, statistical DMs have opened new possibilities for ecosystem management applications, since they are straightforward and the outputs are easy to interpret and communicate. Mechanistic modelling techniques, targeting the fundamental niche of species, and Bayesian belief networks are the most promising to further improve DM performance in the marine realm. There are many actual and potential management applications of DMs in the marine benthic environment, these are (i) early warning systems for species invasion and pest control, (ii) to assess distribution probabilities of species to be protected, (iii) uses in monitoring design and spatial management frameworks (e.g. MPA designations), and (iv) establishing long-term ecosystem management measures (accounting for future climate-driven changes in the ecosystem). It is important to acknowledge also the limitations associated with DM applications in a marine management context as well as considering new areas for future DM developments. The knowledge of explanatory variables, for example, setting the basis for DM, will continue to be further developed: this includes both the abiotic (natural and anthropogenic) and the more pressing biotic (e.g. species interactions) aspects of the ecosystem. While the response variables on the other hand are often focused on species presence and some work undertaken on species abundances, it is equally important to consider, e.g. biological traits or benthic ecosystem functions in DM applications. Tools such as DMs are suitable to forecast the possible effects of climate change on benthic species distribution patterns and hence could help to steer present-day ecosystem management. © 2014 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Source

Beeckman A.,Ghent University | Vicca J.,KaHo St. Lieven Polytechnic | Van Ranst G.,Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research | Janssens G.P.J.,Ghent University | Fievez V.,Ghent University
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition | Year: 2010

Analysis of blood plasma of 60 cows selected on six Flemish organic dairy farms revealed that on average 12% of all samples and on one farm up to 28% of the organic cows showed plasma vitamin E concentrations less than 3.0 μg/ml, which is considered the minimum level to avoid health risks due to vitamin E shortages. Furthermore, this study showed early lactating and dry cows to be more at risk in relation to animals in mid-late lactation. In European organic farming, vitamin supplements are only allowed if granted by the local authority to satisfy daily requirements. Therefore, the vitamin E content of the feedstuffs used on the farms was determined. Grass clover silage (GCS) and mixed silage had significantly more vitamin E than hay, maize or grain (p < 0.05) [mean (SD): 52 (35), 29 (20), 4.5 (1.7), 4.9 (4.4) and 7.1 (3.8) mg/kg DM, respectively]. Apparently, variation in the vitamin E content in the silage samples was huge. Hence, the vitamin E content of ryegrass, white and red clover was determined in a second lab scale experiment and the effects of wilting, DM content and supplementation of ensiling additives were investigated. Fresh ryegrass had a higher vitamin E content than white and red clover (p < 0.05) [156 (11.3), 49.3 (0.67) and 74.3 (5.73) μg/g DM, respectively]. These differences remained after the wilting or ensiling. Supplementation of formic acid or lactic acid bacteria at ensiling had no significant effect on the vitamin E content. Overall, it can be concluded that GCS is the most important source of vitamin E in organic dairy farming. A legal possibility for case-related supplementation should be retained in organic dairy farming as approximately 18% of all dry and early lactating cows were at risk of vitamin E shortage. © 2009 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Soini K.,University of Helsinki | Soini K.,Natural Resources Institute | Dessein J.,Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research | Dessein J.,Ghent University
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2016

Several individual scholars and international organizations have attempted to conceptualize "culture" in its different meanings in sustainability. Despite those efforts, a tangle of different approaches are being used, reflecting the various disciplines and policy aims. In this paper we propose an interdisciplinary framework for identifying the different roles of culture in sustainability in an attempt to guide the research and policy activities in this complex field. The framework is comprised of three representations defined by a literature review on "cultural sustainability", which are further explored through eight organizing dimensions that mark the similarities and differences between the three representations. The article reveals that the three representations are partly interlinked and that they also reveal gradients in the dynamics of the system, as well as in the human/nature interface. © 2016 by the authors. Source

Sun W.,Shanghai Institute of Technology | Sun W.,Shanghai Ocean University | Han Z.,Shanghai Institute of Technology | Han Z.,Ghent University | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2015

A reliable liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed for simultaneous determination of nine mycotoxins, i.e., aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), aflatoxin G1 (AFG1), aflatoxin G2 (AFG2), ochratoxin A (OTA), zearalenone (ZEN), T-2 toxin, HT2 toxin and deoxynivalenol (DON), in fresh fish (muscle and entrails) as well as dried seafoods. Special focus was given to sample pretreatment which is crucial for an accurate and reliable analytical method. With regards to the high complexity of the matrices, extraction solvent, time, and temperature as well as clean-up cartridges were optimized to improve extraction efficiency and reduce matrix effects. The optimum procedure included ultrasound-assisted extraction with acetonitrile/water/acetic acid (79/20/1, v/v/v) at 40°C for 30min, defatting with n-hexane and purification by Oasis HLB cartridges. The method was further validated by determining the linearity (R2≥0.9989), sensitivity (limit of detection ≤2μg/kg, limit of quantitation ≤3μg/kg), recovery (72.2-119.9%) and precision (≤18.3%) in muscle and entrails of fresh crucian carp (Carassius carassius) as well as dried fish products. The method was proven to be suitable for its intended purposes. Mycotoxins of OTA, ZEN and AFB2 have been found in fresh fish and dried seafoods for the first time. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Moeskops B.,Ghent University | Buchan D.,Ghent University | Van Beneden S.,Ghent University | Van Beneden S.,University College Ghent | And 5 more authors.
Pedobiologia | Year: 2012

Eight fertilization strategies were compared in a field trial on Alfisol in Belgium (humid temperate climate): cattle slurry (CSL); farmyard manure (FYM); vegetable, fruit and garden waste compost (VFG); high C/N farm compost (FCP1); low C/N farm compost (FCP2); exclusively mineral fertilizer (MIN N); no fertilization (NF+), no fertilization and no crop (NF-). After five growing seasons, VFG resulted in the highest soil organic C (1.46% SOC) and total N contents (0.117%TN). SOC and TN contents of the MIN N plots, on the other hand, remained unchanged and were even similar to those of NF+ plots, despite greater biomass production on the MIN N plots than on the NF+ plots. Application of organic matter mostly increased dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and β-glucosaminidase activity, but only FYM raised the activity of all three enzymes significantly compared to MIN N. Of the five organic amendments tested, only VFG suppressed Rhizoctonia solani (65% suppressiveness). Plots treated with FCP1, on the other hand, were highly conducive to R. solani (28.3% suppressiveness). Suppressiveness against R. solani probably depended on the maturity and cellulose content of the organic amendments. Highest microbial biomass C contents were found in the VFG plots. PLFA 16:1ω5c contents sensitively reacted to the different treatments and were significantly higher in VFG than in MIN N plots (3.84 and 2.20nmolg -1 dry soil, respectively). Finally, a soil quality index was developed using stepwise canonical discriminant analysis. β-glucosaminidase and β-glucosidase activity, and TN content were the most important parameters of the index. According to this index, FYM resulted in a significantly higher soil quality than the other treatments. We conclude that farmyard manure seems to be the preferred organic amendment for maintaining soil quality in arable fields under temperate climatic conditions. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. Source

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