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Montanaro G.,University of Basilicata | Dichio B.,University of Basilicata | Briccoli Bati C.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | Xiloyannis C.,University of Basilicata
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2012

A field trial was conducted over a seven-year period, in Mediterranean peach orchard. The aims were (i) to explore the effects of alternative soil-management practices (A mng) on soil and litter carbon (C) reserves, (ii) to monitor the seasonal and (iii) spatial variations of soil CO 2 flushes. The alternative management included no tillage, retention of all aboveground biomass and application of imported organic amendments (15tha -1y -1 fresh weigh). Locally conventional management (L mng) served as the control: i.e. tillage, mineral fertilisation, removal of prunings. The mean total annual C inputs were 4.2 and 2.4tha -1 in A mng and L mng, respectively. Spatial and temporal variations in CO 2 soil emissions over a 20m 2 plot (×2) were assessed (Li-6400, LI-COR, USA) on the assumption that root topography and microbial activity declined systematically with distance from the row line. Under A mng practices soil C significantly increased up to 1.78% against 1.38% at L mng block. The C stored as litter and dead wood in A mng, was 16-times that in L mng. On a whole-season basis, CO 2 losses were 20% higher in A mng than in L mng. Soil CO 2 emissions were mostly from the in-row, with the inter-row emissions being lower, especially due to reduced soil-water content during the drier months. It is concluded that despite a higher CO 2 soil emissions, alternative management techniques will partially offset atmospheric CO 2 rise through increased soil C reserves, and that spatial variability of emissions must be taken into account if the accuracy of estimates of large-scale emissions are to be improved. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Corrado G.,University of Naples Federico II | Imperato A.,University of Naples Federico II | la Mura M.,University of Naples Federico II | Perri E.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | Rao R.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology | Year: 2011

To evaluate germplasm variability and to identify DNA profiles useful for tracing the genetic identity of olive oil, we used six Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) in 47 cultivated olive varieties from Central and Southern Italy. A total of 80 polymorphic SSR markers were scored and both the observed heterozygosity and the polymorphic index content were, on average, high. Genetic similarities were investigated by agglomerative hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis.The results implied that most of the olive accessions from the Campania region were genetically different from those of other Italian regions.This finding was further supported by partitioning the genetic variability using analysis of molecular variance. Furthermore, we analysed the DNA isolated from the fruit and mono-varietal oils of three cultivars. Comparative analysis of the SSR profiles revealed that these were conserved in the agro-food chain, although our data also suggested that some issues, such as the sensitivity and performance of the assay in complex mixtures, may pose limitations. Our findings extend current knowledge of Italian olive germplasm and highlight the richness and specificity of the genetic resource of olives in some regions of Southern Italy. They also provide molecular information that can be exploited for the protection of genetic material and mono-varietal oils. Source

Habel J.C.,Luneburg University | Rodder D.,University of Trier | Stefano S.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | Meyer M.,Musee National dHistoire Naturelle Luxembourg | Schmitt T.,University of Trier
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2010

The sea acts as an effective dispersal barrier for most terrestrial animal species. Narrow sea straits, therefore, often represent areas where species are able to disperse from one land mass to another. In the Mediterranean Sea, the narrowest connecting points between North Africa and Europe are the Strait of Gibraltar and the Strait of Sicily. In the past, climatic oscillations caused changing sea levels and thus influenced the permeability of these sea straits. We analysed the genetic structure of four butterfly species that all occur on both sides of the Strait of Sicily. In all four species, we observed a lack of genetic differentiation between the populations of North Africa and those of Italy. Species distribution models support the strong cohesiveness in that they show a largely continuous glacial distribution over Italy and North Africa. The data obtained reveal that there was a large exchange of individuals between Italy and the eastern Maghreb during the last ice age. This might not only be the case for the species under investigation in the present study, but also might represent a more general pattern for mobile thermophilic western Palearctic species. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London. Source

Dapporto L.,Istituto Comprensivo Materna Elementere Media Convenevole da Prato | Schmitt T.,University of Trier | Vila R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Scalercio S.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2011

Aim Our aims were to verify the existence of phylogenetic disequilibrium between butterfly lineages at the subcontinental scale for islands and the nearest mainland and to test the capacity of islands for hosting ancestral populations of butterflies and the significance of such relict populations. Location The western Mediterranean continental area of Europe and North Africa together with several large and small islands (Balearics, Tuscan Archipelago, Aeolian Archipelago, Capri, Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica). Methods Using geometric morphometrics, the shape of male genitalia was analysed in two common butterflies (Pyronia cecilia and Pyronia tithonus), whose spatial heterogeneity in the Mediterranean region has recently been described. Observed patterns in genital shapes were compared with shapes predicted for islands and fossil islands to assess the contribution of historical and current events in accounting for the transition from a refugial model to an equilibrium model. Measurements were taken for 473 specimens in 90 insular and mainland sites. Results The shape of the genitalia of populations of most islands differed substantially from that predicted by the equilibrium hypothesis while closely fitting the refugial hypothesis. The comparison between different models strongly suggests that islands maintain ancestral lineages similar to those living in Spain (P. cecilia) and France (P. tithonus). A high correlation between observed and predicted patterns on islands and fossil islands occurs during the first steps of modelled introgressive hybridization while the following steps exposed a successively lower fit, suggesting that the process from a refugial to an equilibrium situation is highly skewed towards an earlier non-equilibrium. Main conclusions The observed non-equilibrium pattern supports the refugial hypothesis, suggesting that an ancestral lineage was originally distributed from Spain to Italy, and also occupied offshore islands. This lineage, replaced in Italy, has persisted on the islands owing to their isolation. A comparison of the distribution patterns for genetic and morphometric markers in several species indicates that the situation highlighted for Pyronia may represent a common biogeographic feature for many Mediterranean butterflies. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Gharsallaoui M.,University of Sfax | Benincasa C.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | Ayadi M.,University of Sfax | Perri E.,Istituto Sperimentale Per lOlivicoltura | Khlif M.,University of Sfax
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Nowadays, lots of efforts are made in Tunisia for the exploitation of wastewater in agriculture in order to face a very elevated mobilization of resources in water (90%). At Sfax, a Governorate placed in the South of Tunisia, the annual rainfall rarely exceeds 200mm, so the climate is fairly arid. The significant water deficit can be reduced with the reuse of treated wastewater (TWW). The Sfax wastewater originated from the municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) localized at 5km in the south of Sfax, Tunisia. This WWTP is an aerated lagoon process receiving industrial wastewaters. Its treatment capacity is 24,000m3/day. Part of TWW is sent to the olive crops of El Hajeb, as part of a proposed wastewater use in agriculture. Already the wastewater is used to irrigate olive trees and intercrops such as cotton, oats and sorghum silage (Charfi et al., 1999). The aim of the present work was to determine the impact of the irrigation utilizing wastewater on the quality of the oil. The oils analysed were extracted from olives hand-picked directly from the tree and from olives that have fallen under the trees. Moreover, a study on the olive storage has been made in order to evaluate in which way the collection of the fruit could influence the quality of the oil.The results obtained showed that:. -Olive trees benefit from this contribution of water;-irrigation by wastewater has a significant effect in the fatty acid composition;-oils relative to olive trees irrigated with wastewaters are more sensible to the oxidization especially after olive storage;-oils coming from olive trees irrigated with wastewaters are richer in polyphenols;-oils extracted from fallen olives are of poor quality essentially after olives storage and when olive trees are irrigated by wastewater. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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