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Kivela J.,University of Helsinki | Chen L.,University of Helsinki | Muurinen S.,Sugar Beet Research Center | Kivijarvi P.,LUKE Natural Resources Institute | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural and Food Science | Year: 2015

Meat and bone meal (MBM) is a by-product of the meat industry and is an important pathway for recycling of N and P. MBM contains about 8% N, 5% P, 1% K and 10% Ca. Field trials compared the effects of MBM and mineral fertilizer on yield and quality of sugar beet (2008-2009) and carrot (2010-2011) in Finland. MBM fertilisation of sugar beet grown on clay loam and sandy clay soil gave 11.4% (2008) and 19.6% (2009) lower yields than mineral fertilizers. The lower root yield in 2008 was compensated by higher extractable sugar content and lower amino-N, K and Na in root but no such compensation in root quality was detected for 2009. Mixing MBM with mineral NPK fertilizers had similar effects as MBM-alone. MBM (80 kg N ha-1 2010 and 60 kg N ha-1 2011) together with K fertilizer (Patentkali®, 180 kg K ha-1) were applied for carrot to a fine sandy till soil in 2010 and sandy loam in 2011. MBM alone gave 14% lower total and marketable root yield than mineral fertilization. The lower yield was compensated by improved quality, lower NO3- content in the carrot and good storability. Adding extra fertilizer during growth or separating fertilization applications had no effect on root yield or quality. MBM performed in these cases mainly as an organic N fertilizer. The N supply from MBM is not sufficient for achieving same yields as with mineral fertilizers. The relative N efficiency of total N of MBM was 83% that of mineral fertilizers. MBM should be targeted on soils with low P status. We conclude that MBM is a reasonably competitive alternative to mineral fertilizers, and as a recycled fertilizer it is a good option for organic production. © 2015, MTT Agrifood Research Finland. All rights reserved.

Smeds P.,Luke Natural Resources Institute | Smeds P.,University of Oulu | Jeronen E.,University of Oulu | Kurppa S.,Luke Natural Resources Institute
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education | Year: 2015

Farm education is a newly emerging field of research that utilises authentic learning environments, environments that combine a subject of academic study with its real-world surroundings, actors, and activities –in this case, the practical context of a farm. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of various learning environments (farm, classroom, and synthesis of the two) on learning and how pupils experience it. Mixed-methods research with experiential interventions was used, and data collection used interviews and pre-learning, post-learning, and delayed tests. The analysis, performed with SPSS software, employed ANOVA and ANOVA repeated-measures design and inductive content analysis. Pupils showed significantly better learning results when allowed to study in authentic learning environments on farm. They experienced learning in an authentic learning environment as easier and found that they learnt more there than in the classroom. They concluded that the reason for this was that the subject to be learnt could be studied comprehensively and first-hand in its original surroundings, including processes. Farm education proved to be a versatile learning environment that encourage learning and support learners who differ in their learning preferences. It supports pupils with moderate learning difficulties, as well as talented pupils, thanks to being allowed to study many aspects of the subject for learning, at their own pace. Including authentic learning environments in education increases long-term retention of what has been learnt and improves understanding. Those involved in teacher education, teachers, and schools alike are urged to take this into account when planning and carrying out education. © 2015 by iSER, International Society of Educational Research.

PubMed | University of Oulu, Luke Natural Resources Institute and Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings. Biological sciences | Year: 2015

Recovery of natural populations occurs often with simultaneous or subsequent range expansions. According to population genetic theory, genetic structuring emerges at the expansion front together with decreasing genetic diversity, owing to multiple founder events. Thereupon, as the expansion proceeds and connectivity among populations is established, homogenization and a resurgence of genetic diversity are to be expected. Few studies have used a fine temporal scale combined with genetic sampling to track range expansions as they proceed in wild animal populations. As a natural experiment, the historical eradication of large terrestrial carnivores followed by their recovery and recolonization may facilitate empirical tests of these ideas. Here, using brown bear (Ursus arctos) as model species, we tested predictions from genetic theory of range expansion. Individuals from all over Finland were genotyped for every year between 1996 and 2010 using 12 validated autosomal microsatellite markers. A latitudinal shift of about 110 km was observed in the distribution and delineation of genetic clusters during this period. As the range expansion proceeded, we found, as theory predicts, that the degree of genetic structure decreased, and that both genetic variation and admixture increased. The genetic consequences of range expansions may first be detected after multiple generations, but we found major changes in genetic composition after just 1.5 generations, accompanied by population growth and increased migration. These rapid genetic changes suggest an ongoing concerted action of geographical and demographic expansion combined with substantial immigration of bears from Russia during the recovery of brown bears within the large ecosystem of northern Europe.

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