Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences

Neufahrn bei Freising, Germany
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009.;ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 8.93M | Year: 2010

The GHG-Europe project aims to improve our understanding and capacity for predicting the European terrestrial carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) budget by applying a systematic, comprehensive and integrative approach. GHG-Europe quantifies the annual to decadal variability of the carbon and GHG budgets of terrestrial ecosystems in EU27 plus Switzerland and in six data-rich European regions via data-model integration, diagnostic and predictive modelling. Models are calibrated by multi-site observations. Research includes CO2, CH4 and N2O in forests, croplands, grasslands, shrublands, peatlands and soils. Via an integrated approach, GHG Europe scales up consistently from local to regional and continental scale via scale dependent error propagation and systematic quantification of uncertainties, model validation at different scales and top-down verification by atmospheric inversion models. At regional and European scale lateral C transport by land use, trade and rivers are included. Variability in C and GHG budgets is attributed to natural (climate) and anthropogenic drivers (N deposition, land use, past and present management) by synthesis of past and emerging experiments, targeted observations in hot spots and hot moments and model sensitivity analyses. For this purpose, observations are extended to under-sampled regions and ecosystems with likely high importance for the European C budget: forests and land use change in Eastern Europe and Mediterranen shrublands. The future vulnerability of carbon pools and risks of positive feedbacks in the climate-carbon system are assessed by scenario analyses with biophysical models and by integrating feedbacks with socio-economic changes and EU climate and land use policies. GHG-Europe uses a bidirectional interaction with stakeholders to provide regular and timely scientific advice targeted to the emerging needs of the UNFCCC process and for implementing post-2012 climate commitments in Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.3-05 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2012

More than 60% of all reported diseases in modern industrial countries are said to have their origin from malnutrition (low vitamin intake, high caloric food (fat and sugar)). As an important cause of this the high consumption of fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids, salt (sodium) and sugar (mono- and disaccharides) has been identified. With the change of society, the consumers pattern towards food consumption has and is changing dramatically. While less and less people prepare their meal at home, the increase of TV cooking shows demonstrates the opposite (European paradox). The trend towards processed and convenience food is a challenge for the food industry and those products have to be of high quality and safety at low price. Fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids), salt and sugar fulfil important functions in food manufacturing as well as in the human metabolism. But meanwhile in the industrial countries their excessive consumption can lead to health problems as stated earlier. Saltiness and sweetness perception are strong markers of the sensorial attributes of food. In the past years there have been many attempts made both by industry and by science to overcome the problem with only limited or no success. All approaches known where either based on nutritional recommendations (like e.g. low carb) or based on substitutes like e.g. sweeteners. The use of replacers to reduce the salt (NaCl), sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) and fat (saturated and trans-fatty acids) content has been very attractive for the food industry as it is an approach which requires only low cost in terms investments (no equipment needed) and ingredients. However, most of the approaches felt due to lack of consumer acceptance due to a different taste perception of the products. The PLEASURE project will be the first project addressing this challenge from the processing side.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.3-04 | Award Amount: 4.03M | Year: 2012

The main idea of the PERFORMANCE project is to develop and validate a holistic, personalized food supply chain for frail elderly in nursing homes, ambient assisted living facilities or at home (served by nursing services). The supply chain in this case will resemble a loop with the elderly consumers forming the initial link (personal preference and needs) and final link (consumption). As a result PERFORMANCE project, an overall concept will be available which allows the automatic manufacturing and supply of personalized, specially textured food for frail elderly. To answer these questions, the PERFORMANCE concept will cover the whole supply chain from the food producer to the ready-to eat-meal at consumers place (both in nursing facilities and at home). Focus will be put on personalized food for people with mastication and swallowing problems (i.e. not only elderly). This group presents 5% of the elderly and has special texture requirements for the food preparation. Elderly in general require careful consideration of various determinants of their nutritional and health status. In contrast to younger people, the impact of nutrition on their well-being and health status is way higher in elderly. The nutritional status of elderly is influenced not only through the aging process, the health status (physiological and physical disabilities) but also through psychological (e.g. the way food is prepared), social-economic factors (available income). Therefore, the PERFORMANCE project will mean a great step forward to improve the Quality of Life of the elderly by offering them a complete new personalised nutritional concept able to increase their independency, health status and social life.

Zahner V.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences | Sikora L.,Bureau of Dendroavifaunistik | Pasinelli G.,Swiss Ornithological Institute
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

Cavity nesting birds invest considerable time and effort into the construction of nests. The investment can be particularly high for species such as the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) that selects living trees as nest substrates. However, the investment may be reduced if fungal rot is present to help soften the wood. We used Resistograph drills to objectively assess fungal decay and tested whether black woodpeckers preferred trees with heart rot as sites for cavity starts. In doing so we also examined the distribution of fungal decay across the tree radius, analysed location of cavity starts with respect to proximity to heart rot, and evaluated wood condition at fresh and old cavity starts. Heart rot was significantly more common in beeches (Fagus sylvatica) with cavity starts than in random reference beeches. Fungal decay was not evenly distributed across the tree radius, but was more prevalent both in the central and outer thirds than in the middle third. Distance to heart rot was smaller from cavity starts than from random drills, suggesting a preference to initiate cavities close to heart rot. Wood density at fresh cavity starts was significantly higher than at old cavity starts. Collectively, these findings imply that black woodpeckers prefer to excavate cavity starts in beeches with heart rot, which the woodpeckers can detect based on cues unavailable to humans. The decay is reducing the energy expenditure of the black woodpecker and is a part of the long time excavation strategy. The cavity starts are an important factor in the process of excavating the large black woodpecker cavities in beech that enhance biodiversity in managed forests. Future studies should attempt to uncover the mechanisms woodpeckers use in selecting the locations of cavity starts. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Franz C.,TU Dresden | Makeschin F.,TU Dresden | Weiss H.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Lorz C.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

The development of effective sediment management strategies is a key requirement in tropical areas with fast urban development, like Brasilia DF, Brazil, because of the limited resources available. Accurate identification and management of sediment sources areas, however, is hampered by the dearth of reliable information on the primary sources of sediment. Few studies have attempted to quantify the source of sediment within fast urbanizing, mixed used, tropical catchments. In this study, statistically verified composite fingerprints and a multivariate mixing model have been used to identify the main land use specific sources of sediment deposited in the artificial Lago Paranoá, Central Brazil. Because of the variability of urban land use types within the Lago Paranoá sub-catchments, the fingerprinting approach was additionally undertaking for the Riacho Fundo sub-catchment. The main contributions from individual source types (i.e. surface materials from residential areas, constructions sites, road deposited sediment, cultivated areas, pasture, farm tracks, woodland and natural gullies) varied between the whole catchment and the Riacho Fundo sub-catchment, reflecting the different proportions of land uses. The sediments deposited in the silting zones of the Lago Paranoá originate largely from urban sources (85. ±. 4%). Areas with (semi-) natural vegetation and natural gullies contribute 10. ±. 2% of the sediment yield. Agricultural sites have only a minor sediment contribution of about 5. ±. 4% within the whole catchment. Within the Riacho Fundo sub-catchment there is a significant contribution from urban (53. ±. 4%) source, such as residential areas with semi-detached housings (42. ±. 3%) with unpaved roads (12. ±. 3%) and construction sites (20. ±. 3%) and agricultural areas (31. ±. 2%). The relative contribution from land use specific sources to the sediment deposition in the silting zone of the Lago Paranoá demonstrated that most of the sediment is derived from sites with high anthropogenic impact. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Hauk S.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences | Knoke T.,TU Munich | Wittkopf S.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

Since economic profitability is the most important factor for the adoption of short rotation coppice (SRC) for energy from biomass, our objective was to analyze and summarize published knowledge about the economic evaluation of SRC. Of 37 studies, 43% reported economic viability of SRC in comparison to a reference system; whereas 19% stated economic disadvantages of SRC, and 38% reported mixed results, depending on the underlying assumptions. We found a wide variety of underlying assumptions, underlying costs, process chains and methods used to evaluate SRC systems. Of the 37 studies, 8% used static approaches of capital budgeting, 84% used dynamic approaches and 8% applied approaches in which uncertainties were taken into account. Due to the long-term nature of investment in SRC, and therewith, the uncertain development of sensitive assumptions, approaches which consider uncertainties were best suited for economic evaluation. The profitability of SRC was found to be most sensitive to the price for biomass and biomass yield, but site-specific biomass data was lacking. Despite the wide variation within each cost unit, costs for land rent, harvesting, chipping, and establishment consistently made up the largest proportion of overall costs, and should therefore, be chosen carefully. We close with suggestions for improving the economic evaluation of SRC and enhancing traceability and comparability of calculations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Somodi I.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Molnar Z.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Ewald J.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2012

In this paper, the concerns of Chiarucci et al. regarding use of the potential natural vegetation (PNV) concept are addressed, as voiced in the forum section of the Journal of Vegetation Science. First, we rectify some unfounded expectations concerning PNV, including a relationship with prehuman vegetation and phytosociology. Second, we point out issues that pose considerable challenges in PNV and require common agreement. Here, we address the issue of time and disturbance. We propose to use the static PNV concept as a baseline, a null model for landscape assessment and in comparisons. Instead of changing the PNV concept itself, we introduce a new term, potential future natural vegetation (PFV) to cover estimations of potential successional outcomes. Finally, we offer a new view of PNV with which we intend to make the use of PNV estimates more transparent. We formalize the PNV theory into a partial cause-effect model of vegetation that clearly states which effects on vegetation are factored out during its estimation. Further, we also propose to assess PNV in a probabilistic setting, rather than providing a single estimate for one location. This multiple PNV would reflect our uncertainty about the vegetation entity that could persist at the locality concerned. Such uncertainty arises from the overlap of environmental preferences of different mature vegetation types. Thus reformulated, we argue that the PNV concept has much to offer as a null model, especially in landscape ecology and in site comparisons in space and time. © 2012 International Association for Vegetation Science.

Mellert K.H.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences | Ewald J.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2014

The hypothesis that soil chemistry is a main constraint for the vigour of Norway spruce trees on calcareous soils is scrutinised based on data from 60 existing and new intensive study sites in the Bavarian Alps, where comprehensive information on soils, climate, foliar nutrient concentration, ground vegetation, and tree growth is available. We characterised ecological gradients of the response variables site index (SI), foliar nutrient level and needle weight by constrained ordination, identified nutrient limitations based on regression trees and modelled SI based on vegetation-based mean Ellenberg indicator values. Our study confirms the assumption that soil development and concurrent acidification are key determinants for the vitality and growth of spruce in the Bavarian Alps, which surpass the importance of climate on nutrition and growth. Pools and availability of P and N are limiting nutrition and growth of spruce in this region. We hypothesize that N-limitation persists despite considerable deposition inputs because N tends to be locked up in organic horizons with low biological activity. K and trace elements, especially Fe, can also be deficient in some cases but do not appear as major limiting factors. High foliar Mn concentrations are a reliable indicator of mature soils and favourable site conditions in the Bavarian Alps, but Mn itself is usually not limiting. P must be regarded as the most critical macronutrient in the Bavarian Alps, particularly in the face of biomass harvesting. Consequently, at sites with shallow soils forest, management should focus on sustaining or restoring humus stocks. SI of spruce can be predicted from composition of ground vegetation and Ellenberg indicator values with remarkable precision (R 2 = 0.75). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Millard B.L.,Harvard University | Niepel M.,Harvard University | Menden M.P.,Harvard University | Menden M.P.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Nature Methods | Year: 2011

Whereas genomic data are universally machine-readable, data from imaging, multiplex biochemistry, flow cytometry and other cell- and tissue-based assays usually reside in loosely organized files of poorly documented provenance. This arises because the relational databases used in genomic research are difficult to adapt to rapidly evolving experimental designs, data formats and analytic algorithms. Here we describe an adaptive approach to managing experimental data based on semantically typed data hypercubes (SDCubes) that combine hierarchical data format 5 (HDF5) and extensible markup language (XML) file types. We demonstrate the application of SDCube-based storage using ImageRail, a software package for high-throughput microscopy. Experimental design and its day-to-day evolution, not rigid standards, determine how ImageRail data are organized in SDCubes. We applied ImageRail to collect and analyze drug dose-response landscapes in human cell lines at single-cell resolution. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Eckhardt K.,Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2012

A sensitivity analysis for a well-established baseflow separation technique, a two parameter recursive digital filter, is presented. The sensitivity of the calculated baseflow index to errors or uncertainties of the two filter parameters and of the initial baseflow value is analytically ascertained. It is found that the influence of the initial baseflow value is negligible for long time series. The propagation of errors or uncertainties of the two filter parameters into the baseflow index is expressed by a dimensionless sensitivity index, the ratio between the relative error of the baseflow index and the relative error of the respective parameter. Representative index values are derived by application of the resulting equations to 65 North American catchments. In the mean the parameter a, the recession constant, has a stronger influence on the calculated baseflow index than the second filter parameter BFImax. This is favourable in that a can be determined by a recession analysis and therefore should be less uncertain. Whether this finding also applies for a specific catchment can easily be checked by means of the derived equations. © Author(s) 2012.

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