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This collection contains items published by Lincoln University researchers where we do not have the full text or cannot make it open access. Instead we provide the bibliographic data (title, author, date etc), the abstract, and where relevant a link to the publisher's site.

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    Fire and life history affect the distribution of plant species in a biodiversity hotspot
    (Wiley, 2019-07) Magadzire, N; De Klerk, Helen; Esler, KJ; Slingsby, JA; Syphard, A
    Aim: Species distribution models (SDMs) provide valuable insights into species–environment relationships and potential climate change impacts on diversity. Most SDMs do not account for the role of natural disturbance regimes such as fire in determining current and future species distributions, or how species traits mediate their response to these stressors. Here, we investigate the importance of fire in determining the distributions of species in fire-prone fynbos vegetation, and how this varies in relation to different life history traits (growth form and fire-response strategy). Location: Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Methods: We modelled the distribution of 104 plant species with different life history traits, using Maxent. The model included five climatic variables, one edaphic and one fire variable. Post hoc analyses of model output and permutation procedures were conducted to assess variable importance across different life history traits. We accounted for phylogenetic autocorrelation using sister species comparisons. Results: Permutation importance scores identified fire return interval as a major determinant of fynbos species’ distributions. Linear mixed effect analyses revealed that seeder species were significantly more sensitive to fire than resprouters. Coefficients from the (linear) response curves of the different predictors indicated that the occurrence of species across all life histories was negatively associated with longer fire return intervals. Main conclusions: Fire and life history traits governing species’ response to fire are key factors determining species distributions in our study system. SDMs that ignore the role of fire in driving species distributions, and how this varies across different life history types, compromise our ability to understand species–environment relationships in fire-prone ecosystems. There is great need for better spatial data describing historical, current and future fire regimes and for models that can incorporate different responses based on species life histories, to improve vulnerability assessments for fire-prone ecosystems.
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    Drought and endophyte impact African black beetle feeding on perennial ryegrass
    (New Zealand Grassland Association, 2024-05-28) Hewitt, KG; Phillips, CB; Hofmann, RW; Ball, OJ; Luo, D; Popay, AJ
    Water is essential to plant growth, driving interactions between plants, herbivorous insects and fungal Epichloë endophytes. However, water availability fluctuates, a phenomenon intensified by climate change, challenging the success of New Zealand’s pastoral industry. The impacts of climatic changes, such as intensifying drought, on pastoral insect pests have received little attention. In a no-choice bioassay, African black beetle (ABB) were fed semi-synthetic diets containing freeze-dried foliage material from drought-exposed and well-watered perennial ryegrass containing endophyte strains AR37 or NZCT, or with material free of endophyte (Nil). Diet consumption, beetle weight change, fungal alkaloid concentrations, phytohormones, and NRI (nitrogen reflectance index) concentrations were measured and compared. Except for AR37, ABB consumed more diets containing drought-exposed rather than well-watered material, with a 61% increase in Nil and a 50% increase in diets containing NZCT, though these effects were not accompanied by corresponding ABB weight changes. Here, we discuss the implications of these results on ABB damage in New Zealand pastures in the context of increasing drought and illustrate how spatial patterns of ABB damage could change over the next 75 years. Areas that do not currently have high populations of ABB such as Manawatū-Whanganui, Wairarapa and Marlborough will become increasingly vulnerable to damage.
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    Generating mock skeletons for lightweight web-service testing
    (IEEE, 2019) Bhagya, T; Dietrich, J; Guesgen, H
    Modern application development allows applications to be composed using lightweight HTTP services. Testing such an application requires the availability of services that the application makes requests to. However, access to dependent services during testing may be restrained. Simulating the behaviour of such services is, therefore, useful to address their absence and move on application testing. This paper examines the appropriateness of Symbolic Machine Learning algorithms to automatically synthesise HTTP services' mock skeletons from network traffic recordings. These skeletons can then be customised to create mocks that can generate service responses suitable for testing. The mock skeletons have human-readable logic for key aspects of service responses, such as headers and status codes, and are highly accurate.
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    GHTraffic: A dataset for reproducible research in service-oriented computing
    (IEEE, 2018) Bhagya, T; Dietrich, J; Guesgen, H; Versteeg, S
    We present GHTraffic, a dataset of significant size comprising HTTP transactions extracted from GitHub data and augmented with synthetic transaction data. The dataset facilitates reproducible research on many aspects of service-oriented computing. This paper discusses use cases for such a dataset and extracts a set of requirements from these use cases. We then discuss the design of GHTraffic, and the methods and tool used to construct it. We conclude our contribution with some selective metrics that characterise GHTraffic.
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    Sustainable crop intensification examples from New Zealand and the Pacific region
    Hofmann, Rainer
    An invited lecture showcasing sustainable agriculture examples.
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    The influence of management systems on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi recruitment by grapevine rootstocks
    (Applied Microbiology International) Moukarzel, Romy; Jones, Eirian; Panda, P; Ramana, John; Larrouy, Justine; Ridgway, Hayley
    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play vital roles in sustainable agricultural ecosystems, such as vineyards, by promoting plant growth and increasing resilience to environmental changes. To maximize the benefits of AMF communities in vineyard ecosystems, it is crucial to understand how management systems impact their composition. Additionally, it remains unclear whether AMF communities differ between organically managed vineyards and conventionally managed ones. This study conducted surveys of vineyards throughout the Marlborough region, New Zealand, aiming to identify AMF communities inhabiting the roots of various rootstocks grafted with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, across both conventional and organic systems. The AMF communities were identified based on spores isolated from trap cultures established with the collected grapevine roots, and by next-generation sequencing technologies (Illumina Miseq). The identified AMF species/genera belonged to Glomeraceae, Claroideoglomeraceae and Diversisporaceae. The results revealed a significant difference in AMF community composition between rootstocks and in their interaction with management systems. These findings suggest that vineyard management systems affect the recruitment of AMF by rootstocks, potentially making certain rootstocks better suited to organic systems because of the AMF communities they support. This could lead to enhanced biodiversity, offering greater benefits to organic systems.
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    Unraveling the mechanism of interaction: Accelerated phenanthrene degradation and rhizosphere biofilm/iron plaque formation influenced by phenolic root exudates
    (Springer Nature, 2024-05) A, D; Zhang, Y; Huang, H; Pan, Y; Di, Hong; Yi, Y; Zhang, X; Yang, J
    Phenolic root exudates (PREs) secreted by wetland plants facilitate the accumulation of iron in the rhizosphere, potentially providing the essential active iron required for the generation of enzymes that degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, thereby enhancing their biodegradation. However, the underlying mechanisms involved are yet to be elucidated. This study focuses on phenanthrene (PHE), a typical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollutant, utilizing representative PREs from wetland plants, including p-hydroxybenzoic, p-coumaric, caffeic, and ferulic acids. Using hydroponic experiments, 16S rRNA sequencing, and multiple characterization techniques, we aimed to elucidate the interaction mechanism between the accelerated degradation of PHE and the formation of rhizosphere biofilm/iron plaque influenced by PREs. Although all four types of PREs altered the biofilm composition and promoted the formation of iron plaque on the root surface, only caffeic acid, possessing a similar structure to the intermediate metabolite of PHE (catechol), could accelerate the PHE degradation rate. Caffeic acid, notable for its catechol structure, plays a significant role in enhancing PHE degradation through two main mechanisms: (a) it directly boosts PHE co-metabolism by fostering the growth of PHE-degrading bacteria, specifically Burkholderiaceae, and by facilitating the production of the key metabolic enzyme catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (C12O) and (b) it indirectly supports PHE biodegradation by promoting iron plaque formation on root surfaces, thereby enriching free iron for efficient microbial synthesis of C12O, a crucial factor in PHE decomposition.
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    Exploring the efficiency of tide flow constructed wetlands for treating mariculture wastewater: A comprehensive study on antibiotic removal mechanism under salinity stress
    (Elsevier Ltd., 2024-07-01) Deng, Y; Liu, W; Thi, NT; Di, Hong; Lian, Y; Yang, J; A, D; Qiu, R
    Antibiotic residues in aquaculture environment pose persistent threats to ecology and human health, exacerbated by salt-alkali mariculture wastewater. Yet, little is known about antibiotic removal in tidal flow constructed wetlands (TFCWs) under salinity stress, especially considering TFCW constitution, configuration, and influent water characteristics. Here, the removal performance and mechanism of different TFCWs for sulfonamide antibiotics (SAs: sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine, sulfamonomethoxine, and sulfamethoxazole) and trimethoprim (TMP) from mariculture wastewater (with low, medium, and high salinity) were evaluated alongside comparisons of environmental factors and microbial responses. Results showed substantial reduction in alkalinity (from 8.25–8.26 to 7.65–8.18), salinity (from 3.67–11.30 ppt to 3.20–10.79 ppt), and SAs concentrations (from 7.79–15.46 mg/L to 0.25–10.00 mg/L) for mariculture wastewater using TFCWs. Zeolite and yellow flag configurations exhibited superior performance in SAs removal from mariculture wastewater. Furthermore, the salt-alkali neutralization and oxygen transport capabilities of zeolite, along with the salt-alkali tolerance and biofilm formation characteristics of yellow flag, promoted the development of a biofilm in the rhizosphere dominated by oxidative stress tolerance and facultative anaerobic traits, thereby improving the TFCW microenvironment. Consequently, aerobic (Sulfuritalea and Enterobacter) and salt-tolerant (Pseudomonas) functional bacteria involved in antibiotic degradation were selectively enriched in the zeolite- and yellow flag-TFCWs, contributing to the effective biodegradation of SAs (achieving removal efficiency of 92–97 %). Besides, the high salt-alkali levels of mariculture wastewater and the strong oxygen-enriched capacity of the TFCWs not only enhanced the aerobic oxidation reaction of SAs, but also bidirectionally inhibited the substrate adsorption and anaerobic reduction process of TMP. These findings address a critical gap by investigating the efficacy of TFCWs in removing antibiotics from mariculture wastewater under various salinity conditions, providing essential insights for optimizing wetland design and improving wastewater management in mariculture environments.
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    Quantifying biomass and whole crop macro-nutrient accumulation for six hard spring wheat genotypes grown under different nitrogen rates at ambient and elevated carbon-dioxide levels
    (Taylor & Francis Group, 2023) Chakwizira, E; Andrews, M; Teixeira, E; Moot, Derrick
    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations ([CO₂]) are increasing, but little is known about how this will affect macronutrient (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg)) accumulation and partitioning in the aboveground biomass (AGB) for different hard spring wheat genotypes. We examined the responses of six spring wheat genotypes (‘Discovery’, ‘Duchess’, ‘Reliance’, PFR-3026, PFR-3019, PFR-2021) to two CO₂ levels (ambient [aCO₂] and elevated [eCO₂]) and six nitrogen rates (N; 1–10 mM), at the stem elongation growth stage of wheat grown in controlled environment chambers. The AGB yield increased by 35.2% with increasing [CO₂] when N rate was >2 mM. Increasing N supply also increased AGB by up to 3.2-fold over the entire N range applied. The AGB responses to N differed among the genotypes, being lowest for PFR-3019 (7.71 ± 0.11 g/pot) and highest for PFR-2021, PFR-3026 and Duchess at 8.84 ± 0.11 g/pot at both CO₂ levels. Macronutrient concentrations decreased with eCO₂ by 28.0% for Ca to 17.4% for P and K. Nevertheless, absolute nutrient uptake was higher for eCO₂ treatments, because the AGB increase (20.0–52.0%) was proportionally higher than the 4.0–28.0% increase in nutrient uptake. The AGB non-response to [CO₂] at N rates <2mM indicates that this nutrient deficiency was more limiting than the effects of CO₂ level. Therefore, the impact of eCO₂ in the future will depend on N fertilizer management. These results suggest that critical nutrient concentrations used to diagnose the nutrient status of wheat crops will need to be reassessed for eCO₂ conditions.
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    Connecting people to soil: The role of food landscape networks in promoting improved care of the soil resource
    Gillespie, Julie; Smith, Carol; Edwards, Sarah; Payne, Dione; Cavanagh, Jo
    While many people understand the connection between soil and human health through the conduit of food in terms of nutrient supply and growth of crops, the connection back to the soil is not as strong. There is a growing disconnect between people and the soil and this disconnect is more noticeable in urban populations. If people can see the positive health benefits of the connection between food and soil and hence the benefits of caring for soil, then they are more likely to manage and understand the soil resource in a better way (Brevik et al, 2018). Recently, there has been a noticeable momentum building in Aotearoa New Zealand around the potential for more ’holistic’ farm systems; and central to this is enhancing food and environmental quality through enhancing soil health. “Te Mahi Oneone Hua Parakore” perspectives on Māori soil sovereignty and wellbeing (Hutchings and Smith, 2020), outlines that a paradigm shift is needed to encourage care for the soil resource. In te ao Māori, soil is part of a wider whakapapa that connects in this context: whenua, takata whenua and mahika kai to hauora. Our research posits that there are 7 factors that influence Food-Landscape Networks. We use mahika kai and terroir frameworks, plus conceptual frameworks of soil health and well-being to inform ways to reconnect people with the soil. Our specific research question is how does a better understanding of Food-Landscape Networks enable soil-food-human connections to be understood and potentially enhanced?
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    Drivers affecting biological invasions
    (IPBES Secretariat, 2023-09-04) Hulme, Philip; Ikeda, T; Vandvik, V; Blanchard, R; Camacho-Cervantes, M; Herrera, I; Koyama, A; Morales, CL; Munishi, LK; Pallewatta, PKTNS; Per, E; Pergl, J; Ricciardi, A; Xavier, RO; Roy, HE; Pauchard, A; Stoett, P; Renard Truong, T
    The concept of direct and indirect drivers of change in nature has been a cornerstone in all the assessments led by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to date (Díaz et al., 2015; IPBES, 2016a, 2018f, 2018e, 2018c, 2018d, 2019; Nelson et al., 2006), and the intention in this chapter is not to repeat past material pertaining to the status and trends in the drivers, but to synthesize information on the role of drivers of change in nature in affecting the biological invasion process. Chapter 3 therefore focuses on identifying how different drivers of change in nature affect the transport, introduction and establishment of invasive alien species (Glossary; Box 3.1). Chapter 3 builds on the status and trends of alien species, and the subset of these termed invasive alien species, documented in Chapter 2, with a more in-depth focus on establishing the drivers behind these patterns. The information provided in Chapter 3 contributes to the understanding of the underlying causes of the increase in invasive alien species globally (Chapter 2), the impacts of invasive alien species on nature, nature’s contributions to people and good quality of life (Glossary; Chapter 4) and underpins management actions (Glossary; Chapter 5) and policy options for the prevention and control of invasive alien species and their impacts (Glossary; Chapter 6).
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    Development of a lucerne model in APSIM next generation: 3 Biomass accumulation and partitioning for different fall dormancy ratings
    (Elsevier, 2023-01) Yang, X; Brown, HE; Teixeira, EI; Moot, Derrick
    Modelling lucerne growth requires response functions that represent seasonal partitioning of biomass into above-ground and below-ground organs. An additional challenge is to parameterize perennial organ responses across contrasting fall dormancy (FD) genotypes. Current models use empirical approaches to simulate biomass accumulation and partitioning. This research integrated knowledge of lucerne biomass accumulation and partitioning into the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) next generation (APSIM NextGen) model framework. Biomass supply was calculated from light interception and total radiation use efficiency (RUEtotal), and then allocated based on the relative demand of each organ. Leaf biomass demand was parameterized as a function of specific leaf area (SLA). Stem biomass demand was parameterized as a positive power function of shoot biomass. Root biomass (taproots and crowns) showed a strong seasonal pattern. The observed decrease of root biomass in periods of an increasing photoperiod (mid-winter to mid-summer) was assumed as remobilization to shoots and carbon loss from maintenance respiration. Periods of decreasing photoperiod showed increased biomass of root caused by greater carbon partitioning to this organ. To capture this, a model optimization approach was used to fit required parameters. Fitted parameters included a remobilization coefficient (percentage of storage biomass per day) of 0.01common to all FD cultivars tested (FD5, FD2 and FD10). The regrowth coefficient (remobilization duration) remained constant at 0.01 post-defoliation until 250 °Cd for FD5, 200 °Cd for FD2 and 300 °Cd FD 10, and then declined to 0 after another 50 °Cd. The model was parameterized to have maximal root demand in a decreasing photoperiod to capture carbon partitioning. The model had good prediction of shoot biomass (NSE=0.70) and fair prediction (NSE=0.60) of root biomass for 42 day defoliation treatments. It was less accurate for predictions of shoot biomass under a frequent (28 day) defoliation regime. This highlights the importance to include the response to limitations caused by depleted root N reserves in future model versions. The APSIM NextGen lucerne model provided a mechanistic framework to model perennial organ biomass dynamics with structural and storage components, root maintenance respiration, remobilization in spring, partitioning in autumn and the regrowth effect. This framework accounted for differences in fall dormancy of genotypes and provided a methodology that can be integrated into models of other perennial crops.
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    Shaped by stress: a trait-based meta-analysis of stream communities across stressor gradients in New Zealand.
    Barrett, Isabelle; McIntosh, A; Febria, C; Graham, E; Pomeranz, J; Burdon, F; Harding, J; Warburton, H
    Environmental filtering shapes communities by filtering out species with certain traits (characteristics, including morphology, behaviour and life history), resulting in communities associated with specific environmental conditions. Understanding how different environmental filters/conditions shape different communities may enable design of more effective restoration strategies which target biological recovery. To investigate if invertebrate community types were associated with different stressor gradients, a meta-analysis of New Zealand streams was conducted using data across drying, flooding, eutrophication, sedimentation and acid mine drainage (AMD) gradients. We hypothesised that whilst some stressors would apply different environmental filters resulting in different trait combinations, others might shape communities in similar ways, resulting in similar trait combinations. A trait-based ordination of communities using non-metric multidimensional scaling was conducted. Significant trait responses to stressor gradients were found for all stressors. Additionally, AMD and sedimentation worked to shape trait composition in the same direction, with higher stressor intensity leading to presence of hardier species. Flooding and eutrophication worked on the same axis but in opposite directions, with flooding selecting for more streamlined, mobile organisms and eutrophication for more sedentary organisms. Knowing that different stressors can work to filter organisms in opposite directions might be applicable as a restoration action to successfully displace less desired taxa. Whilst using stressors to further disturb degraded ecosystems seems counter-intuitive, it could be used to trigger positive community change as a restoration tool. In practice, this might involve identification and artificial application of stressors which act against a degraded community and in favour of a desired community.
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    White clover: A key ingredient of pasture mixes under a 190 kg N/ha/year cap
    (2023) Black, Alistair
    • White clover is a key ingredient of dairy pastures. • What is the best pasture mix under 190 kg N/ha/y? • Effects of mixing species and applying N. • Series of mixture trials at Lincoln University.
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    Discourse-based approaches to EAP
    Horvath, G; Coleman, Patrick
    Since the advent of Communicative Language Teaching, discourse has played a central role in English teaching. Pennycook (1994, p. 38) claims that “it is rare to find people involved in language teaching who are unaware of the significance of discourse for teaching reading, writing, intonation or spoken language, and for the evaluation of students’ communicative competence”. Communicative competences, i.e., grammatical, discourse, sociolinguistic, pragmatic and strategic are also perceived as discourse competences. Celce-Murcia and Olshtain (2000) argue that the main competency within the communicative competence framework is discourse competency, claiming that it is “in and through discourse that all of the other competencies are realized (p. 16).” Therefore, it is evident that discourse should become an integral part of every ESOL syllabus, methodology and assessment (Celce-Murcia & Olshtain, 2005). This presentation will share a number of discourse-based teaching components, such as authentic learning texts, integration of top-down and bottom-up processing, meaning over form – pragmatics over grammar, background knowledge – schemata and context, and their practical application in the classroom.
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    Assessing land suitability and spatial variability in lucerne yields across New Zealand
    (Elsevier, 2023-08) Teixeira, E; Guo, J; Liu, J; Cichota, R; Brown, H; Sood, A; Yang, X; Hannaway, D; Moot, Derrick
    Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) is a widely grown perennial legume worldwide which can provide high biomass and protein yields, biological N fixation, deep soil water extraction and a range of ecosystems services relevant to current and future agricultural systems. The potential to expand lucerne beyond its current cultivated areas in New Zealand, and its potential productivity across the country's contrasting climate zones, are currently unknown. To gain such insights, we estimated land suitability and spatial distribution of lucerne above-ground biomass across New Zealand lands considering contrasting growth conditions (rain-fed or irrigated for different soils types) and two simulation methods of different complexity (process- and GIS-based approaches). This aimed to assess yield-estimate spatial patterns and sensitivity to model selection for a wide range of combinations of water supply (i.e. irrigation and soil water storage) across New Zealand climate zones. For example, highly suitable areas for lucerne cultivation, were estimated in ∼21 thousand km² when considering the exclusion of steep slopes, poor soil drainage and excess annual rainfall. The two crop-yield models were applied in response to 30 years of daily historical (1971–2000) weather data downscaled at 5 km resolution on suitable areas. Simulated average lucerne yields ranged from ∼4.5–28 t dry matter/ha per year. Simulations showed a distinct spatial pattern of yield decline from north to south, mainly in response to decreasing temperatures. Temporally, water limited yields were up to 4-fold more variable than under irrigation, depending on the degree of drought stress across different years. Results also unveiled systematic spatial patterns of model uncertainty quantified as yield sensitivity to model selection. For instance, simulated yields were most sensitive to model selection (6–31% of total variability, Ti) within high abiotic-stress environments (e.g. low temperature and limited water supply). Overall, soil type selection accounted for most of yield variability (58–78% Ti), being particularly important in warmer environments with variable seasonal rainfall regimes (e.g. northern regions). As expected, water supply (i.e. rain-fed or irrigated systems) was relatively more impactful on yield (8–20% Ti) for limited rainfall areas, where crops are most drought prone (e.g. east coast and central southern regions). Long-term regional scale comparisons of annual lucerne yield, between 30-year simulated distributions and point-based observations from the AgYields database, helped identify hotspots of yield overestimation. Such insights are useful to guide future research on high yield gap areas (e.g. southern colder and drier locations) and highlight key areas for model improvement (e.g. representation of multiple biotic stresses). Overall, our results provide a first gridded-model assessment of lucerne suitability and yield at national scale and quantify the share of variability explained by key climatic, management and methodological components in spatial analysis studies. These insights can inform future modelling efforts and support agricultural planning that considers the expansion of lucerne and other perennial legumes.
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    Types of biopesticides
    (CRC Press, 2023) Glare, Travis; Nollet, L; Nollet, LML; Mir, SR
    Biopesticides are generally regarded as biologically based pesticides. The specific definition however has depended on the researchers, and the term has been used broadly to encompass all biologically derived pesticides or, more often, specifically for certain groups, such as microbial biopesticides. The general aim of using the term biopesticide is to suggest a biological rather than a synthetic origin of the active agent, and implicit is a level of environmental and mammalian safety resulting from the use of naturally derived actives. Various subgroups of biopesticides that could be included under a broad definition comprise packaged pesticides based on live microbes, nematodes, microbial and plant extracts, genetically modified plants, semiochemicals, endophytes, invertebrates used inundatively, and other compounds derived from animals or minerals. The term biopesticide implies some form of packaging and active application, without the expectation of long-term persistence, and often has an element of formulation. The market for biopesticides is increasing rapidly around the world, but regulators in many countries are struggling with providing registration procedures appropriate for these pesticides.
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    Biopesticides for sustainable agriculture
    (Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, 2020-03-24) Birch, N; Glare, Travis
    With increasing concern about the environmental impact of synthetic pesticide use, including their impact on beneficial insects, the problem of insect resistance and the lack of new products, there has been in increasing interest in developing alternative biopesticides to control insect and other pests. This collection reviews the wealth of research on identifying, developing, assessing and improving the growing range of biopesticides. Part 1 of this collection reviews research on developing new biopesticides in such areas as screening new compounds, ways of assessing effectiveness in the field and improving regulatory approval processes. Part 2 summarises advances in different types of entomopathogenic biopesticide including entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes and the use Bt genes in insect-resistant crops. Part 3 assesses the use of semiochemicals such as pheromones and allelochemicals, peptide-based and other natural substance-based biopesticides.
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    Polar tourism
    (Springer, 2023-09-08) Stewart, Emma; Liggett, D; Jafari, J; Xiao, H
    Polar tourism refers to visits, excluding those for scientific research or support, to the Arctic (typically comprised of the states, water bodies, and islands north of the tree-line) or the Antarctic (often described as the continent itself, ice shelves, water, and islands south of the Antarctic Convergence). The geographic remoteness associated with unique biota, landscapes, and climate forms the appeal of the polar regions.
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    A sustainable approach to improving agrifood production: Getting the balance right between organic soil amendments and chemical fertilizers
    (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2024-05-24) Vasta, P; Zheng, H; Ma, Wanglin
    Purpose - We analyzed the effects of different combinations of organic soil amendments (OSAs) and chemical fertilizers on agrifood production, focusing on banana yields in China, the second-largest producer of bananas globally. Design/methodology/approach - We computed these combinations by dividing the expenditures on OSAs by those on chemical fertilizers and called them OSA-CF ratios. First, we classified farmers based on quintiles of expenditures on chemical fertilizers. Then, we studied the association between OSA-CF ratios and banana yields for each quintile. We also considered an alternate specification in which farmers were grouped along the OSA-CF ratio continuum. The first group comprised farmers not using OSAs. Their OSA-CF ratio was zero. Farmers applying low, medium, and high OSA-CF ratios constituted groups two, three, and four; the groups were delineated based on the OSA-CF ratio tertiles, and the associations between tertiles of OSA-CF ratios and banana yields for each quintile were analyzed. The data used in this study were collected by surveying 616 households in three major banana-producing provinces (Guangdong, Hainan, and Yunnan) of China. Standard linear regressions and the two-stage predictor substitution method were employed to complete the analysis. Findings - There were variations in the effects of OSA-CF ratios on banana yields obtained by farmers iifferent quintiles. For the first and second quintiles, low, medium, and high OSA-CF ratios improved banana yields relative to not using OSAs. For farmers in the first quintile using only chemical fertilizers, applying a low OSA-CF ratio was associated with an improvement of 792 kg/mu in banana yields. For their counterparts in the second quintile, the same transition was associated with a gain of 534 kg/mu. For the fifth quintile, comprising farmers spending 320 yuan/mu or more on chemical fertilizers, applying a high OSA-CF ratio instead of using only chemical fertilizers was associated with a 401 kg/mu decline in banana yields. Even so, for this group, no differences were observed between the yields of farmers not applying OSAs and those using low and medium OSA-CF ratios. Practical implications - Banana farmers in southern China, using only chemical fertilizers, can improve yields by combining them with OSAs if their chemical fertilizer expenditures are less than 66.67 yuan/mu. Those using only chemical fertilizers and spending between 68 yuan/mu and 300 yuan/mu on them can maintain yields by applying OSAs in conjunction with chemical fertilizers. However, yields may decline for farmers using only chemical fertilizers and spending 320 yuan/mu or more on them if they incorporate OSAs such that the OSA-CF ratio reaches 0.78 or higher. Overall, combining OSAs with chemical fertilizers can improve yields while attenuating the adverse effects of chemical fertilizers on the environment. Policymakers should inform farmers of these benefits and accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture through educational and awareness programs. Originality/value - Farmers apply OSAs such as organic fertilizers and farmyard manure to adjust and remedy soil nutrition to improve farm productivity. However, little is known about how combining OSAs with chemical fertilizers affects banana yields. This study provided the first attempt to explore the associations between OSA-CF ratios and banana yields using cross-sectional data on farming households.