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    Relict high-Andean ecosystems challenge our concepts of naturalness and human impact 

    Sylvester, Steven P.; Heitkamp, Felix; Sylvester, Mitsy D. P. V.; Jungkunst, Hermann F.; Sipman, Harrie J. M.; Toivonen, Johanna M.; Gonzales Inca, Carlos A.; Ospina, Juan C.; Kessler, Michael
    Scientific Reports 2017; 7(1): Art. 3334
    What would current ecosystems be like without the impact of mankind? This question, which is critical for ecosystem management, has long remained unanswered due to a lack of present-day data from truly undisturbed ecosystems. Using mountaineering techniques, we accessed pristine relict ecosystems in the Peruvian Andes to provide this baseline data and compared it with the surrounding accessible and disturbed landscape. We show that natural ecosystems and human impact in the high Andes are radically different from preconceived ideas. Vegetation of these ‘lost worlds’ was dominated by plant species previously unknown to science that have become extinct in nearby human-affected ecosystems. Furthermore, natural vegetation had greater plant biomass with potentially as much as ten times more forest, but lower plant diversity. Contrary to our expectations, soils showed relatively little degradation when compared within a vegetation type, but differed mainly between forest and grassland ecosystems. At the landscape level, a presumed large-scale forest reduction resulted in a nowadays more acidic soilscape with higher carbon storage, partly ameliorating carbon loss through deforestation. Human impact in the high Andes, thus, had mixed effects on biodiversity, while soils and carbon stocks would have been mainly indirectly affected through a suggested large-scale vegetation change.
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    Problems related to the taxonomic placement of incompletely preserved amber fossils: transfer of the Paleogene liverwort Cylindrocolea dimorpha (Cephaloziellaceae) to the extant Odontoschisma sect. Iwatsukia (Cephaloziaceae) 

    Feldberg, Kathrin; Váňa, Jiří; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Krings, Michael; Gröhn, Carsten; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Heinrichs, Jochen
    Fossil Record 2017; 20(2) p.147-157
    A revision of the Baltic and Bitterfeld amber fossils assigned to Cylindrocolea dimorpha (Cephaloziellaceae) has yielded evidence of the presence of multicellular, bifid underleaves, which have not previously been reported for this species and conflict with the current circumscription of the family. We transfer the fossil species to Odontoschisma (sect. Iwatsukia) and propose the new combination O. dimorpha of the Cephaloziaceae. Characteristics of the fossil include an overall small size of the plant, entire-margined, bifid leaves and underleaves, more or less equally thickened leaf cell walls, ventral branching that includes stoloniform branches with reduced leaves, and the lack of a stem hyalodermis and gemmae. Placement of the fossil in Cephaloziaceae profoundly affects divergence time estimates for liverworts based on DNA sequence variation with integrated information from the fossil record. Our reclassification concurs with hypotheses on the divergence times of Cephaloziaceae derived from DNA sequence data that provide evidence of a late Early Cretaceous to early Eocene age of the Odontoschisma crown group and an origin of O. sect. Iwatsukia in the Late Cretaceous to Oligocene.
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    Raumordnungspolitik als Verdichtung politischer Kräfteverhältnisse 

    Mießner, Michael
    s u b \ u r b a n . zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung 2017; 5(172) p.21-40
    Am Beispiel der Raumordnungspolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland der 1970er-Jahre wird im Beitrag mithilfe der historisch-materialistischen Politikanalyse die politische Verdichtung der Kräfteverhältnisse bezüglich Raumordnung analysiert. Es wird aufgezeigt, dass das Konzept der dezentralen Konzentration mittels Entwicklungszentren und -achsen zur bestimmenden raumordnungspolitischen Strategie für die Bearbeitung der räumlich ungleichen Entwicklung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der sich real in den 1970er-Jahren vollziehenden räumlichen Entwicklung, in Form der dezentralen Konzentration, bot es den Parteienvertreter_innen die Möglichkeit, ihre ideologischen und parteipolitischen Vorstellungen mit diesem Konzept zu verbinden. Mit dem Konzept der dezentralen Konzentration wurde eine Strategie gewählt, die die bestehende räumliche Entwicklung protegierte und ihr nichts entgegensetzte.
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    Metallic Iron for Water Treatment: Lost Science in the West 

    Noubactep, Chicgoua
    Bioenergetics: Open Access 2017; 06(01): Art. 1000149
    not available
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    Diversity and composition of herbaceous angiosperms along gradients of elevation and forest-use intensity. 

    Gómez-Díaz, Jorge Antonio; Krömer, Thorsten; Kreft, Holger; Gerold, Gerhard; Carvajal-Hernández, César Isidro; Heitkamp, Felix
    PloS one 2017; 12(8): Art. e0182893
    Terrestrial herbs are important elements of tropical forests; however, there is a lack of research on their diversity patterns and how they respond to different intensities of forest-use. The aim of this study was to analyze the diversity of herbaceous angiosperms along gradients of elevation (50 m to 3500 m) and forest-use intensity on the eastern slopes of the Cofre de Perote, Veracruz, Mexico. We recorded the occurrence of all herbaceous angiosperm species within 120 plots of 20 m x 20 m each. The plots were located at eight study locations separated by ~500 m in elevation and within three different habitats that differ in forest-use intensity: old-growth, degraded, and secondary forest. We analyzed species richness and floristic composition of herb communities among different elevations and habitats. Of the 264 plant species recorded, 31 are endemic to Mexico. Both α- and γ-diversity display a hump-shaped relation to elevation peaking at 2500 m and 3000 m, respectively. The relative contribution of between-habitat β-diversity to γ-diversity also showed a unimodal hump whereas within-habitat β-diversity declined with elevation. Forest-use intensity did not affect α-diversity, but β-diversity was high between old-growth and secondary forests. Overall, γ-diversity peaked at 2500 m (72 species), driven mainly by high within- and among-habitat β-diversity. We infer that this belt is highly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance and forest-use intensification. At 3100 m, high γ-diversity (50 species) was driven by high α- and within-habitat β-diversity. There, losing a specific forest area might be compensated if similar assemblages occur in nearby areas. The high β-diversity and endemism suggest that mixes of different habitats are needed to sustain high γ-richness of terrestrial herbs along this elevational gradient.
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    Making Fe0-Based Filters a Universal Solution for Safe Drinking Water Provision 

    Naseri, Elham; Ndé-Tchoupé, Arnaud; Mwakabona, Hezron; Nanseu-Njiki, Charles; Noubactep, Chicgoua; Njau, Karoli; Wydra, Kerstin
    Sustainability 2017; 9(7): Art. 1224
    Metallic iron (Fe0)-based filtration systems have the potential to significantly contribute to the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of substantially improving the human condition by 2030 through the provision of clean water. Recent knowledge on Fe0-based safe drinking water filters is addressed herein. They are categorized into two types: Household and community filters. Design criteria are recalled and operational details are given. Scientists are invited to co-develop knowledge enabling the exploitation of the great potential of Fe0 filters for sustainable safe drinking water provision (and sanitation).
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    Comparison of Multiple Linear Regression, Cubist Regression, and Random Forest Algorithms to Estimate Daily Air Surface Temperature from Dynamic Combinations of MODIS LST Data 

    Noi, Phan; Degener, Jan; Kappas, Martin
    Remote Sensing 2017; 9(5): Art. 398
    Recently, several methods have been introduced and applied to estimate daily air surface temperature (Ta) using MODIS land surface temperature data (MODIS LST). Among these methods, the most common used method is statistical modeling, and the most applied algorithms are linear/multiple linear regression models (LM). There are only a handful of studies using machine learning algorithm models such as random forest (RF) or cubist regression (CB). In particular, there is no study comparing different combinations of four MODIS LST datasets with or without auxiliary data using different algorithms such as multiple linear regression, random forest, and cubist regression for daily Ta-max, Ta-min, and Ta-mean estimation. Our study examines the mentioned combinations of four MODIS-LST datasets and shows that different combinations and differently applied algorithms produce various Ta estimation accuracies. Additional analysis of daily data from three climate stations in the mountain area of North West of Vietnam for the period of five years (2009 to 2013) with four MODIS LST datasets (AQUA daytime, AQUA nighttime, TERRA daytime, and TERRA nighttime) and two additional auxiliary datasets (elevation and Julian day) shows that CB and LM should be applied if MODIS LST data is used solely. If MODIS LST is used together with auxiliary data, especially in mountainous areas, CB or RF is highly recommended. This study proved that the very high accuracy of Ta estimation (R2 > 0.93/0.80/0.89 and RMSE ~1.5/2.0/1.6 C of Ta-max, Ta-min, and Ta-mean, respectively) could be achieved with a simple combination of four LST data, elevation, and Julian day data using a suitable algorithm.
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    Effects of conversion of native cerrado vegetation to pasture on soil hydro-physical properties, evapotranspiration and streamflow on the Amazonian agricultural frontier. 

    Nóbrega, Rodolfo L. B.; Guzha, Alphonce C.; Torres, Gilmar N.; Kovacs, Kristof; Lamparter, Gabriele; Amorim, Ricardo S. S.; Couto, Eduardo; Gerold, Gerhard
    PloS one 2017; 12(6): Art. e0179414
    Understanding the impacts of land-use change on landscape-hydrological dynamics is one of the main challenges in the Northern Brazilian Cerrado biome, where the Amazon agricultural frontier is located. Motivated by the gap in literature assessing these impacts, we characterized the soil hydro-physical properties and quantified surface water fluxes from catchments under contrasting land-use in this region. We used data from field measurements in two headwater micro-catchments with similar physical characteristics and different land use, i.e. cerrado sensu stricto vegetation and pasture for extensive cattle ranching. We determined hydraulic and physical properties of the soils, applied ground-based remote sensing techniques to estimate evapotranspiration, and monitored streamflow from October 2012 to September 2014. Our results show significant differences in soil hydro-physical properties between the catchments, with greater bulk density and smaller total porosity in the pasture catchment. We found that evapotranspiration is smaller in the pasture (639 ± 31% mm yr-1) than in the cerrado catchment (1,004 ± 24% mm yr-1), and that streamflow from the pasture catchment is greater with runoff coefficients of 0.40 for the pasture and 0.27 for the cerrado catchment. Overall, our results confirm that conversion of cerrado vegetation to pasture causes soil hydro-physical properties deterioration, reduction in evapotranspiration reduction, and increased streamflow.
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    Quantitative assessments of water-use efficiency in Temperate Eurasian Steppe along an aridity gradient. 

    Chen, Yizhao; Li, Jianlong; Ju, Weimin; Ruan, Honghua; Qin, Zhihao; Huang, Yiye; Jeelani, Nasreen; Padarian, José; Propastin, Pavel
    PloS one 2017; 12(7): Art. e0179875
    Water-use efficiency (WUE), defined as the ratio of net primary productivity (NPP) to evapotranspiration (ET), is an important indicator to represent the trade-off pattern between vegetation productivity and water consumption. Its dynamics under climate change are important to ecohydrology and ecosystem management, especially in the drylands. In this study, we modified and used a late version of Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS), to quantify the WUE in the typical dryland ecosystems, Temperate Eurasian Steppe (TES). The Aridity Index (AI) was used to specify the terrestrial water availability condition. The regional results showed that during the period of 1999-2008, the WUE has a clear decreasing trend in the spatial distribution from arid to humid areas. The highest annual average WUE was in dry and semi-humid sub-region (DSH) with 0.88 gC mm-1 and the lowest was in arid sub-region (AR) with 0.22 gC mm-1. A two-stage pattern of WUE was found in TES. That is, WUE would enhance with lower aridity stress, but decline under the humid environment. Over 65% of the region exhibited increasing WUE. This enhancement, however, could not indicate that the grasslands were getting better because the NPP even slightly decreased. It was mainly attributed to the reduction of ET over 70% of the region, which is closely related to the rainfall decrease. The results also suggested a similar negative spatial correlation between the WUE and the mean annual precipitation (MAP) at the driest and the most humid ends. This regional pattern reflected the different roles of water in regulating the terrestrial ecosystems under different aridity levels. This study could facilitate the understanding of the interactions between terrestrial carbon and water cycles, and thus contribute to a sustainable management of nature resources in the dryland ecosystems.
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    Rhizosphere hydrophobicity: A positive trait in the competition for water. 

    Zeppenfeld, Thorsten; Balkenhol, Niko; Kóvacs, Kristóf; Carminati, Andrea
    PloS one 2017; 12(7): Art. e0182188
    The ability to acquire water from the soil is a major driver in interspecific plant competition and it depends on several root functional traits. One of these traits is the excretion of gel-like compounds (mucilage) that modify physical soil properties. Mucilage secreted by roots becomes hydrophobic upon drying, impedes the rewetting of the soil close to the root, the so called rhizosphere, and reduces water availability to plants. The function of rhizosphere hydrophobicity is not easily understandable when looking at a single plant, but it may constitute a competitive advantage at the ecosystem level. We hypothesize that by making the top soil hydrophobic, deep-rooted plants avoid competititon with shallow-rooted plants. To test this hypothesis we used an individual-based model to simulate water uptake and growth of two virtual plant species, one deep-rooted plant capable of making the soil hydrophobic and a shallow-rooted plant. We ran scenarios with different precipitation regimes ranging from dry to wet (350, 700, and 1400 mm total annual precipitation) and from high to low precipitation frequencies (1, 7, and 14 days). Plant species abundance and biomass were chosen as indicators for competitiveness of plant species. At constant precipitation frequency mucilage hydrophobicity lead to a benefit in biomass and abundance of the tap-rooted population. Under wet conditions this effect diminished and tap-rooted plants were less productive. Without this trait both species coexisted. The effect of root exudation trait remained constant under different precipitation frequencies. This study shows that mucilage secretion is a competitive trait for the acquisition of water. This advantage is achieved by the modification of the soil hydraulic properties and specifically by inducing water repellency in soil regions which are shared with other species.
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    Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth's atmosphere using cosmic spherules 

    Pack, Andreas; Höweling, Andres; Hezel, Dominik C.; Stefanak, Maren T.; Beck, Anne-Katrin; Peters, Stefan T. M.; Sengupta, Sukanya; Herwartz, Daniel; Folco, Luigi
    Nature communications 2017-06-01; 8 p.15702-15702
    Molten I-type cosmic spherules formed by heating, oxidation and melting of extraterrestrial Fe,Ni metal alloys. The entire oxygen in these spherules sources from the atmosphere. Therefore, I-type cosmic spherules are suitable tracers for the isotopic composition of the upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 115 km. Here we present data on I-type cosmic spherules collected in Antarctica. Their composition is compared with the composition of tropospheric O2. Our data suggest that the Earth's atmospheric O2 is isotopically homogenous up to the thermosphere. This makes fossil I-type micrometeorites ideal proxies for ancient atmospheric CO2 levels.
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    Frutexites-like structures formed by iron oxidizing biofilms in the continental subsurface (Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden) 

    Heim, Christine; Quéric, Nadia-Valérie; Ionescu, Danny; Schäfer, Nadine; Reitner, Joachim
    PLOS ONE 2017; 12(5): Art. e0177542
    Stromatolitic iron-rich structures have been reported from many ancient environments and are often described as Frutexites, a cryptic microfossil. Although microbial formation of such structures is likely, a clear relation to a microbial precursor is lacking so far. Here we report recent iron oxidizing biofilms which resemble the ancient Frutexites structures. The living Frutexites-like biofilms were sampled at 160 m depth in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden. Investigations using microscopy, 454 pyrosequencing, FISH, Raman spectroscopy, biomarker and trace element analysis allowed a detailed view of the structural components of the mineralized biofilm. The most abundant bacterial groups were involved in nitrogen and iron cycling. Furthermore, Archaea are widely distributed in the Frutexites-like biofilm, even though their functional role remains unclear. Biomarker analysis revealed abundant sterols in the biofilm most likely from algal and fungal origins. Our results indicate that the Frutexites-like biofilm was built up by a complex microbial community. The functional role of each community member in the formation of the dendritic structures, as well as their potential relation to fossil Frutexites remains under investigation.
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    Willy Stoffregen – An early pioneer of advanced ionospheric and auroral research 

    Schlegel, K.; Lühr, H.
    History of Geo- and Space Sciences 2014; 5(2) p.149-154
    We sketch the eventful life of Willy Stoffregen and summarise his engineering and scientific achievements.
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    Understanding Forest Health with Remote Sensing-Part II—A Review of Approaches and Data Models 

    Lausch, Angela; Erasmi, Stefan; King, Douglas; Magdon, Paul; Heurich, Marco
    Remote Sensing 2017; 9(2)
    Stress in forest ecosystems (FES) occurs as a result of land-use intensification, disturbances, resource limitations or unsustainable management, causing changes in forest health (FH) at various scales from the local to the global scale. Reactions to such stress depend on the phylogeny of forest species or communities and the characteristics of their impacting drivers and processes. There are many approaches to monitor indicators of FH using in-situ forest inventory and experimental studies, but they are generally limited to sample points or small areas, as well as being time- and labour-intensive. Long-term monitoring based on forest inventories provides valuable information about changes and trends of FH. However, abrupt short-term changes cannot sufficiently be assessed through in-situ forest inventories as they usually have repetition periods of multiple years. Furthermore, numerous FH indicators monitored in in-situ surveys are based on expert judgement. Remote sensing (RS) technologies offer means to monitor FH indicators in an effective, repetitive and comparative way. This paper reviews techniques that are currently used for monitoring, including close-range RS, airborne and satellite approaches. The implementation of optical, RADAR and LiDAR RS-techniques to assess spectral traits/spectral trait variations (ST/STV) is described in detail. We found that ST/STV can be used to record indicators of FH based on RS. Therefore, the ST/STV approach provides a framework to develop a standardized monitoring concept for FH indicators using RS techniques that is applicable to future monitoring programs. It is only through linking in-situ and RS approaches that we will be able to improve our understanding of the relationship between stressors, and the associated spectral responses in order to develop robust FH indicators.
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    The Holo-Transcriptome of a Calcified Early Branching Metazoan 

    Germer, Juliane; Cerveau, Nicolas; Jackson, Daniel J.
    Frontiers in Marine Science 2017; 4: Art. 81
    djackso@uni-goettingen.de Specialty section: This article was submitted to Aquatic Microbiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Marine Science Received: 31 October 2016 Accepted: 10 March 2017 Published: 28 March 2017 Citation: Germer J, Cerveau N and Jackson DJ (2017) The Holo-Transcriptome of a Calcified Early Branching Metazoan. Front. Mar. Sci. 4:81. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00081 The Holo-Transcriptome of a Calcified Early Branching Metazoan Juliane Germer, Nicolas Cerveau and Daniel J. Jackson* Department of Geobiology, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany Symbiotic interactions are widespread throughout the animal kingdom and are increasingly recognized as an important trait that can shape the evolution of a species. Sponges are widely understood to be the earliest branching clade of metazoans and often contain dense, diverse yet specific microbial communities which can constitute up to 50% of their biomass. These bacterial communities fulfill diverse functions influencing the sponge’s physiology and ecology, and may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary success of the Porifera. Here we have analyzed and characterized the holo-transcriptome of the hypercalcifying demosponge Vaceletia sp. and compare it to other sponge transcriptomic and genomic data. Vaceletia sp. harbors a diverse and abundant microbial community; by identifying the underlying molecular mechanism of a variety of lipid pathway components we show that the sponge seems to rely on the supply of short chain fatty acids by its bacterial community. Comparisons to other sponges reveal that this dependency may be more pronounced in sponges with an abundant microbial community. Furthermore, the presence of bacterial polyketide synthase genes suggests bacteria are the producers of Vaceletia’s abundant mid-chain branched fatty acids, whereas demospongic acids may be produced by the sponge host via elongation and desaturation of short-chain precursors. We show that the sponge and its microbial community have the molecular tools to interact through different mechanisms including the sponge’s immune system, and the presence of eukaryotic-like proteins in bacteria. These results expand our knowledge of the complex gene repertoire of sponges and show the importance of metabolic interactions between sponges and their endobiotic microbial communities.
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    Seismic-stratigraphic architecture of the Oligocene-Pliocene Camaná Formation, southern Peruvian forearc (Province of Arequipa) 

    Alván De la Cruz, Aldo; Criales, Astrid; Von Eynatten, Hilmar; Dunkl, Istvan; Gerdes, Axel; Jacay, Javier
    Andean Geology 2017; 44(1) p.17-38
    The Camaná-Mollendo Basin is an active-margin depression ~NW-SE elongated, which is located in the forearc of southern Perú and extends from the Coastal Cordillera to the Perú-Chile Trench. This basin consists of a grabens and half-graben complex, filled with deltaic and fluvial sedimentary rocks of the Oligocene-Pliocene Camaná Formation (~500 m thick). An integration of compiled onshore stratigraphic logs, reinterpreted 2D seismic offshore information, sediment provenance data, and previous zircon U-Pb geochronology on volcanic reworked ash supports a refined tectono-chronostratigraphic framework for the whole Camaná-Mollendo Basin fill. To complete this integration we needed firstly to elaborate a geological reinterpretation of seismic offshore data and highlight their most prominent features (i.e., erosive surfaces). This step allowed establishing a first correlation between onshore and offshore deposits of Camaná Formation by means of their sequence boundaries, giving as result a consistent division for Camaná Formation: (i) “CamA Unit” (coarse-grained deltas) and (ii) “CamB Unit” (fluvial deposits). CamA Unit is further subdivided into three subunits based on minor erosive surfaces (i.e., A1: Oligocene, A2: Early Miocene, and A3: Middle Miocene). CamA reflects prograding geometry (subunits A1 and A2) as well as onlapping geometry (subunit A3). CamB Unit (Late Miocene to Pliocene) consists of high-energy hyperpycnal flows composed of fluvial conglomerates in onshore, which very possibly changes to progradational deltaic in offshore. Each one of these units and subunits extends offshore and preserves similarities in depositional geometry and sequence boundaries with Camaná Formation onshore. Subunits A1 and A2 observed in offshore are grouped in this paper as “A1+A2” (Oligocene to Middle Miocene) because they show similar progradational geometry and it is difficult to differentiate them from each other. A regressive systems tract (RST) represents these subunits. These deposits reach up to ~2.5 km thick, and they are intensely affected by normal faulting associated to pinch-out depositional geometry. Strata of subunit A3 (Middle Miocene) reflect a transgressive systems tract (TST), and blanket the entire basin with fine-grained sediments. These deposits are up to ~1 km thick, being less affected by synsedimentary tectonic and show minor effects of synsedimentary tectonics. Finally, deposition of CamB Unit (Late Miocene to Pliocene) occurred during a new regressive systems tract (TST), which turned to progradational geometry similar to deltaic deposits in offshore, and according to seismic lines they are much less affected by synsedimentary faulting. Stratigraphic boundaries between “A1+A2” and A3, and between A3 and CamB observed in onshore outcrops are used here as tools to differentiate, correlate and predict the main depositional geometries in offshore. High-frequency seismic reflectors represent such boundaries and support divisions and subdivisions within Camaná Formation. These boundaries are also used to define depocentres of Camaná Formation along the entire Camaná- Mollendo Basin, where the thickests are located in the proximity of the large river mouths (e.g., Planchada, Camaná, and Punta de Bombón). Strata of subunits “A1+A2” are considered as potential reservoir for hydrocarbon due to their high rate of sediment accumulation. Deposits of A3 are transgressive and they are considered as potential potential seal rock. Structurally, Camaná-Mollendo Basin is composed of graben and half-graben components ~NW-SE-oriented, typical of a trantensional tectonic regime.
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    Heterogeneous vesiculation of 2011 El Hierro xeno-pumice revealed by X-ray computed microtomography 

    Berg, S. E.; Troll, V. R.; Deegan, F. M.; Burchardt, S.; Krumbholz, M.; Mancini, L.; Polacci, M.; Carracedo, J. C.; Soler, V.; Arzilli, F.; et al.
    Brun, F.
    Bulletin of Volcanology 2016; 78(12)
    During the first week of the 2011 El Hierro submarine eruption, abundant light-coloured pumiceous, high-silica volcanic bombs coated in dark basanite were found floating on the sea. The composition of the light-coloured frothy material (‘xeno-pumice’) is akin to that of sedimentary rocks from the region, but the textures resemble felsic magmatic pumice, leaving their exact mode of formation unclear. To help decipher their origin, we investigated representative El Hierro xeno-pumice samples using X-ray computed microtomography for their internal vesicle shapes, volumes, and bulk porosity, as well as for the spatial arrangement and size distributions of vesicles in three dimensions (3D). We find a wide range of vesicle morphologies, which are especially variable around small fragments of rock contained in the xeno-pumice samples. Notably, these rock fragments are almost exclusively of sedimentary origin, and we therefore interpret them as relicts an the original sedimentary ocean crust protolith(s). The irregular vesiculation textures observed probably resulted from pulsatory release of volatiles from multiple sources during xeno-pumice formation, most likely by successive release of pore water and mineral water during incremental heating and decompression of the sedimentary protoliths.
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    A review of the ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, using forests as a reference system 

    Dislich, Claudia; Keyel, Alexander C.; Salecker, Jan; Kisel, Yael; Meyer, Katrin M.; Auliya, Mark; Barnes, Andrew D.; Corre, Marife D.; Darras, Kevin; Faust, Heiko; et al.
    Hess, BastianKlasen, StephanKnohl, AlexanderKreft, HolgerMeijide, AnaNurdiansyah, FuadOtten, FennaPe'er, GuySteinebach, StefanieTarigan, SuriaTölle, Merja H.Tscharntke, TejaWiegand, Kerstin
    Biological Reviews
    Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in recent decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great ecological, economic, and social impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. However, research on the impacts of oil palm cultivation is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview exists. We address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, including several (genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources, information functions) not included in previous systematic reviews. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those in forests, as the conversion of forest to oil palm is prevalent in the tropics. We find that oil palm plantations generally have reduced ecosystem functioning compared to forests: 11 out of 14 ecosystem functions show a net decrease in level of function. Some functions show decreases with potentially irreversible global impacts (e.g. reductions in gas and climate regulation, habitat and nursery functions, genetic resources, medicinal resources, and information functions). The most serious impacts occur when forest is cleared to establish new plantations, and immediately afterwards, especially on peat soils. To variable degrees, specific plantation management measures can prevent or reduce losses of some ecosystem functions (e.g. avoid illegal land clearing via fire, avoid draining of peat, use of integrated pest management, use of cover crops, mulch, and compost) and we highlight synergistic mitigation measures that can improve multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously. The only ecosystem function which increases in oil palm plantations is, unsurprisingly, the production of marketable goods. Our review highlights numerous research gaps. In particular, there are significant gaps with respect to socio-cultural information functions. Further, there is a need for more empirical data on the importance of spatial and temporal scales, such as differences among plantations in different environments, of different sizes, and of different ages, as our review has identified examples where ecosystem functions vary spatially and temporally. Finally, more research is needed on developing management practices that can offset the losses of ecosystem functions. Our findings should stimulate research to address the identified gaps, and provide a foundation for more systematic research and discussion on ways to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of oil palm cultivation.
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    Understanding Forest Health with Remote Sensing - Part I - A Review of Spectral Traits, Processes and Remote-Sensing Characteristics 

    Lausch, Angela; Erasmi, Stefan; King, Douglas; Magdon, Paul; Heurich, Marco
    Remote Sensing 2016; 8(12)
    Anthropogenic stress and disturbance of forest ecosystems (FES) has been increasing at all scales from local to global. In rapidly changing environments, in-situ terrestrial FES monitoring approaches have made tremendous progress but they are intensive and often integrate subjective indicators for forest health (FH). Remote sensing (RS) bridges the gaps of these limitations, by monitoring indicators of FH on different spatio-temporal scales, and in a cost-effective, rapid, repetitive and objective manner. In this paper, we provide an overview of the definitions of FH, discussing the drivers, processes, stress and adaptation mechanisms of forest plants, and how we can observe FH with RS. We introduce the concept of spectral traits (ST) and spectral trait variations (STV) in the context of FH monitoring and discuss the prospects, limitations and constraints. Stress, disturbances and resource limitations can cause changes in FES taxonomic, structural and functional diversity; we provide examples how the ST/STV approach can be used for monitoring these FES characteristics. We show that RS based assessments of FH indicators using the ST/STV approach is a competent, affordable, repetitive and objective technique for monitoring. Even though the possibilities for observing the taxonomic diversity of animal species is limited with RS, the taxonomy of forest tree species can be recorded with RS, even though its accuracy is subject to certain constraints. RS has proved successful for monitoring the impacts from stress on structural and functional diversity. In particular, it has proven to be very suitable for recording the short-term dynamics of stress on FH, which cannot be cost-effectively recorded using in-situ methods. This paper gives an overview of the ST/STV approach, whereas the second paper of this series concentrates on discussing in-situ terrestrial monitoring, in-situ RS approaches and RS sensors and techniques for measuring ST/STV for FH.
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  • Zeitschriftenartikel

    Physical analysis of an Antarctic ice core—towards an integration of micro- and macrodynamics of polar ice 

    Weikusat, Ilka; Jansen, Daniela; Binder, Tobias; Eichler, Jan; Faria, Sérgio H.; Wilhelms, Frank; Kipfstuhl, Sepp; Sheldon, Simon; Miller, Heinrich; Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe; et al.
    Kleiner, Thomas
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 2016; 375(2086): Art. 20150347
    Microstructures from deep ice cores reflect the dynamic conditions of the drill location as well as the thermodynamic history of the drill site and catchment area in great detail. Ice core parameters (crystal lattice-preferred orientation (LPO), grain size, grain shape), mesostructures (visual stratigraphy) as well as borehole deformation were measured in a deep ice core drilled at Kohnen Station, Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica. These observations are used to characterize the local dynamic setting and its rheological as well as microstructural effects at the EDML ice core drilling site (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in DML). The results suggest a division of the core into five distinct sections, interpreted as the effects of changing deformation boundary conditions from triaxial deformation with horizontal extension to bedrock-parallel shear. Region 1 (uppermost approx. 450 m depth) with still small macroscopic strain is dominated by compression of bubbles and strong strain and recrystallization localization. Region 2 (approx. 450–1700 m depth) shows a girdle-type LPO with the girdle plane being perpendicular to grain elongations, which indicates triaxial deformation with dominating horizontal extension. In this region (approx. 1000 m depth), the first subtle traces of shear deformation are observed in the shape-preferred orientation (SPO) by inclination of the grain elongation. Region 3 (approx. 1700–2030 m depth) represents a transitional regime between triaxial deformation and dominance of shear, which becomes apparent in the progression of the girdle to a single maximum LPO and increasing obliqueness of grain elongations. The fully developed single maximum LPO in region 4 (approx. 2030–2385 m depth) is an indicator of shear dominance. Region 5 (below approx. 2385 m depth) is marked by signs of strong shear, such as strong SPO values of grain elongation and strong kink folding of visual layers. The details of structural observations are compared with results from a numerical ice sheet model (PISM, isotropic) for comparison of strain rate trends predicted from the large-scale geometry of the ice sheet and borehole logging data. This comparison confirms the segmentation into these depth regions and in turn provides a wider view of the ice sheet.
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