Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Right on track? Performance of satellite telemetry in terrestrial wildlife research 

    Hofman, M. P. G.; Hayward, M. W.; Heim, M.; Marchand, P.; Rolandsen, C. M.; Mattisson, J.; Urbano, F.; Heurich, M.; Mysterud, A.; Melzheimer, J.; et al.
    Morellet, N.Voigt, U.Allen, B. L.Gehr, B.Rouco, C.Ullmann, W.Holand, Ø.Jørgensen, N. H.Steinheim, G.Cagnacci, F.Kroeschel, M.Kaczensky, P.Buuveibaatar, B.Payne, J. C.Palmegiani, I.Jerina, K.Kjellander, P.Johansson, Ö.LaPoint, S.Bayrakcismith, R.Linnell, J. D. C.Zaccaroni, M.Jorge, M. L. S.Oshima, J. E. F.Songhurst, A.Fischer, C.Mc Bride, R. T.Thompson, J. J.Streif, S.Sandfort, R.Bonenfant, C.Drouilly, M.Klapproth, M.Zinner, D.Yarnell, R.Stronza, A.Wilmott, L.Meisingset, E.Thaker, M.Vanak, A. T.Nicoloso, S.Graeber, R.Said, S.Boudreau, M. R.Devlin, A.Hoogesteijn, R.May-Junior, J. A.Nifong, J. C.Odden, J.Quigley, H. B.Tortato, F.Parker, D. M.Caso, A.Perrine, J.Tellaeche, C.Zieba, F.Zwijacz-Kozica, T.Appel, C. L.Axsom, I.Bean, W. T.Cristescu, B.Périquet, S.Teichman, K. J.Karpanty, S.Licoppe, A.Menges, V.Black, K.Scheppers, T. L.Schai-Braun, S. C.Azevedo, F. C.Lemos, F. G.Payne, A.Swanepoel, L. H.Weckworth, B. V.Berger, A.Bertassoni, A.McCulloch, G.Šustr, P.Athreya, V.Bockmuhl, D.Casaer, J.Ekori, A.Melovski, D.Richard-Hansen, C.van de Vyver, D.Reyna-Hurtado, R.Robardet, E.Selva, N.Sergiel, A.Farhadinia, M. S.Sunde, P.Portas, R.Ambarli, H.Berzins, R.Kappeler, P. M.Mann, G. K.Pyritz, L.Bissett, C.Grant, T.Steinmetz, R.Swedell, L.Welch, R. J.Armenteras, D.Bidder, O. R.González, T. M.Rosenblatt, A.Kachel, S.Balkenhol, N.
    PLOS ONE 2019; 14(5): Art. e0216223
    Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental factors that determine the success and failure of satellite tracking devices across species and habitats. Here, we assess the relative influence of such factors on the ability of satellite telemetry units to provide the expected amount and quality of data by analyzing data from over 3,000 devices deployed on 62 terrestrial species in 167 projects worldwide. We evaluate the success rate in obtaining GPS fixes as well as in transferring these fixes to the user and we evaluate failure rates. Average fix success and data transfer rates were high and were generally better predicted by species and unit characteristics, while environmental characteristics influenced the variability of performance. However, 48% of the unit deployments ended prematurely, half of them due to technical failure. Nonetheless, this study shows that the performance of satellite telemetry applications has shown improvements over time, and based on our findings, we provide further recommendations for both users and manufacturers.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Computational identification of tissue-specific transcription factor cooperation in ten cattle tissues 

    Steuernagel, Lukas; Meckbach, Cornelia; Heinrich, Felix; Zeidler, Sebastian; Schmitt, Armin O.; Gültas, Mehmet
    PLOS ONE 2019; 14(5): Art. e0216475
    Transcription factors (TFs) are a special class of DNA-binding proteins that orchestrate gene transcription by recruiting other TFs, co-activators or co-repressors. Their combinatorial interplay in higher organisms maintains homeostasis and governs cell identity by finely controlling and regulating tissue-specific gene expression. Despite the rich literature on the importance of cooperative TFs for deciphering the mechanisms of individual regulatory programs that control tissue specificity in several organisms such as human, mouse, or Drosophila melanogaster, to date, there is still need for a comprehensive study to detect specific TF cooperations in regulatory processes of cattle tissues. To address the needs of knowledge about specific combinatorial gene regulation in cattle tissues, we made use of three publicly available RNA-seq datasets and obtained tissue-specific gene (TSG) sets for ten tissues (heart, lung, liver, kidney, duodenum, muscle tissue, adipose tissue, colon, spleen and testis). By analyzing these TSG-sets, tissue-specific TF cooperations of each tissue have been identified. The results reveal that similar to the combinatorial regulatory events of model organisms, TFs change their partners depending on their biological functions in different tissues. Particularly with regard to preferential partner choice of the transcription factors STAT3 and NR2C2, this phenomenon has been highlighted with their five different specific cooperation partners in multiple tissues. The information about cooperative TFs could be promising: i) to understand the molecular mechanisms of regulating processes; and ii) to extend the existing knowledge on the importance of single TFs in cattle tissues.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    The use of bat houses as day roosts in macadamia orchards, South Africa 

    Weier, Sina M.; Linden, Valerie M.G.; Grass, Ingo; Tscharntke, Teja; Taylor, Peter J.
    PeerJ 2019; 7: Art. e6954
    The loss of roost sites is one of the major drivers of the worldwide decline in bat populations and roost site preferences, either natural or artificially provided, are not well known for African bat species specifically. In this study we focus on the preference for different artificial roost sites by insectivorous bats in macadamia orchards in northern South Africa. From June 2016 to July 2017 we monitored 31 bat houses, mounted on poles in six macadamia orchards, for presence of bats or other occupants. Twentyone multi-chambered bat houses of three different designs were erected in sets of three. Additionally, five Rocket boxes, four bat houses in sets of two (painted black and white) and one colony bat house were erected. Bats were counted and visually identified to family or species level. From December 2016 to the end of March 2017 iButtons were installed to record and analyze temperature variation within one set of three bat houses. We related the occupancy of bat houses to the different types of houses and the environmental variables: distance to water, altitude and height of the bat houses above the ground. Overall bat house occupancy was significantly higher in the central bat house, in the set of three, and the black bat house, in the set of two. Mean temperatures differed between houses in the set of three with the central bat house having a significantly higher mean temperature than the houses flanking it. Our study might confirm previous assumptions that the microclimate of bat houses appears to be an important factor influencing occupancy. In conclusion, from the different bat houses tested in this study the designs we assume the warmest and best insulated attracted the most bats. Further research is needed on the preferred microclimate of different bat species, co-habitation within bat houses and the potential importance of altitude and distance to water. Our study provided little variation in both altitude and the distance to water.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Stimulus dependencies of an illusory motion: Investigations of the Motion Bridging Effect 

    Stein, Maximilian; Fendrich, Robert; Mattler, Uwe
    Journal of Vision 2019; 19(5) p.1-23: Art. 13
    The Motion Bridging Effect (MBE) is an illusion in which a motion that is not consciously visible generates a visible motion aftereffect that is predominantly in the same direction as the adapter motion. In the initial study of the MBE (Mattler & Fendrich, 2010), a ring of 16 points was rotated at angular velocities as high as 2250°/s so that observers saw only an unbroken outline circle and performed at chance when asked to report the ring's rotation direction. However, when the rotating ring was replaced by a veridically stationary ring of 16 points, the stationary ring appeared to visibly spin to a halt, principally in the same direction as the initial ring's rotation. Here we continue to investigate the stimulus dependencies of the MBE. We find the MBE, measured by the correspondence between the direction of the invisible rotation of the spinning ring and perceived rotation of the stationary ring, increases as the number of points used to construct the rings decreases and grows stronger as the diameter of the rings get larger. We consider the potential contributions of temporal frequency, retinal eccentricity, luminance levels, and the separation between the points forming the rings as mediators of these effects. Data is discussed with regard to the detection of real movement and apparent motion. We conclude that the detection of the rapid rotation of the spinning ring is likely to be modulated by temporal frequency of luminance changes along the ring perimeter while the point-distance may modulate an apparent motion produced by the transition from the perceptually unbroken spinning ring to the point-defined stationary ring.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Action priming suppression by forward masks 

    Becker, Nicolas; Mattler, Uwe
    Journal of Vision 2019; 19(5) p.1-16: Art. 1085
    Visual stimuli may produce strong and reliable effects on subsequent actions irrespective of their visibility. This dissociation between action priming and conscious perception of the stimuli suggests two ways of processing of visual stimuli. One way of processing leads to the emergence of conscious visual perception, and another way leads to action priming effects. Here we examined the influence of forward masks that precede the prime on processing for action. In three experiments, we found that forward masks can suppress and even abolish priming effects. Suppression was larger with strong rather than weak forward masks and with short rather than long prime durations. Similar suppression effects occurred with surrounding paracontrast masks and with overlapping pattern masks. Our findings emphasize that processing for action depends crucially on preceding stimuli suggesting that action priming may depend on the initial part of the response to the prime. Results indicate that the use of forward masks to reduce prime visibility may also reduce action priming and potentially other priming effects.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Optical and SAR Remote Sensing Synergism for Mapping Vegetation Types in the Endangered Cerrado/Amazon Ecotone of Nova Mutum—Mato Grosso 

    de Souza Mendes, Flávia; Baron, Daniel; Gerold, Gerhard; Liesenberg, Veraldo; Erasmi, Stefan
    Remote Sensing 2019; 11(10): Art. 1161
    Mapping vegetation types through remote sensing images has proved to be e ective, especially in large biomes, such as the Brazilian Cerrado, which plays an important role in the context of management and conservation at the agricultural frontier of the Amazon. We tested several combinations of optical and radar images to identify the four dominant vegetation types that are prevalent in the Cerrado area (i.e., cerrado denso, cerradão, gallery forest, and secondary forest). We extracted features from both sources of data such as intensity, grey level co-occurrence matrix, coherence, and polarimetric decompositions using Sentinel 2A, Sentinel 1A, ALOS-PALSAR 2 dual/full polarimetric, and TanDEM-X images during the dry and rainy season of 2017. In order to normalize the analysis of these features, we used principal component analysis and subsequently applied the Random Forest algorithm to evaluate the classification of vegetation types. During the dry season, the overall accuracy ranged from 48 to 83%, and during the dry and rainy seasons it ranged from 41 up to 82%. The classification using Sentinel 2A images during the dry season resulted in the highest overall accuracy and kappa values, followed by the classification that used images from all sensors during the dry and rainy season. Optical images during the dry season were su cient to map the di erent types of vegetation in our study area.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Mortality of Different Populus Genotypes in Recently Established Mixed Short Rotation Coppice with Robinia pseudoacacia L. 

    Rebola-Lichtenberg, Jessica; Schall, Peter; Annighöfer, Peter; Ammer, Christian; Leinemann, Ludger; Polle, Andrea; Euring, Dejuan
    Forests 2019; 10(5): Art. 410
    Short rotation coppices play an increasing role in providing wooden biomass for energy. Mixing fast-growing tree species in short rotation coppices may result in complementary e ects and increased yield. The aim of this study was to analyze the e ect on mortality of eight di erent poplar genotypes (Populus sp.) in mixed short rotation coppices with three di erent provenances of the N-fixing tree species black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). Pure and mixed stands were established at two sites of contrasting fertility. Survival of poplar was assessed for each tree two times a year, for a period of three years. In the first two years, high variation in mortality was observed between the genotypes, but no significant di erences between pure and mixed stands were identified. However, three years after planting, higher mortality rates were observed in the mixtures across all poplar genotypes in comparison to pure stands. The expected advantage on growth of combining an N-fixing tree with an N-demanding tree species, such as poplar, was overshadowed by the Robinia’s dominance and competitiveness.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    The impact of powerful authorities and trustful taxpayers: evidence for the extended slippery slope framework from Austria, Finland, and Hungary 

    Gangl, Katharina; Hofmann, Eva; Hartl, Barbara; Berkics, Mihály
    Policy Studies p.1-14
    Tax authorities utilize a wide range of instruments to motivate honest taxpaying ranging from strict audits to fair procedures or personalized support, differing from country to country. However, little is known about how these different instruments and taxpayers’ trust influence the generation of interaction climates between tax authorities and taxpayers, motivations to comply, and particularly, tax compliance. The present research examines the extended slippery slope framework (eSSF), which distinguishes tax authorities’ instruments into different qualities of power of authority (coercive and legitimate) and trust in authorities (reason-based and implicit), to shed light on the effect of differences between power and trust. We test eSSF assumptions with survey data from taxpayers from three culturally different countries (N = 700) who also vary concerning their perceptions of power, trust, interaction climates, and tax motivations. Results support assumptions of the eSSF. Across all countries, the relation of coercive power and tax compliance was mediated by implicit trust. The connection from legitimate power to tax compliance is partially mediated by reason-based trust. The relationship between implicit trust and tax compliance is mediated by a confidence climate and committed cooperation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Opportunities and Challenges in the Ethiopian Bamboo Sector: A Market Analysis of the Bamboo-Based Value Web 

    Lin, Jessie; Gupta, Saurabh; Loos, Tim; Birner, Regina
    Sustainability 2019; 11(6): Art. 1644
    Bamboo is one of the more important natural resources in Ethiopia and contributes to the bioeconomy as a potential source for high-value products. While the country is the largest producer of bamboo in Africa, the existing utilization of the bamboo sector in Ethiopia remains under-developed, with little value addition. This study identifies the current market challenges and opportunities for future developments of the northern Ethiopian bamboo sector, with a focus on the Injibara township. This research adopts the “value web” approach to assess the potentials of different product lines that create the bamboo biomass value web. We utilize qualitative data collection methods, in particular, semi-structured interviews and informal focus group discussions with key stakeholders. Our findings suggest that bamboo farmers in Injibara are constrained by a lack of local demand and market for bamboo products with high-value addition, leading to an absence of product diversification and innovation. Furthermore, there is an overreliance on foreign technology and methods that are poorly matched for local needs. We recommend that policymakers invest in targeted and effective training strategies on bamboo cultivation and processing. Furthermore, farmers can benefit from decreasing their reliance on middle men with cooperatives or contract arrangements.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    A Comparison of Mainstream Genotyping Platforms for the Evaluation and Use of Barley Genetic Resources 

    Darrier, Benoit; Russell, Joanne; Milner, Sara G.; Hedley, Pete E.; Shaw, Paul D.; Macaulay, Malcolm; Ramsay, Luke D.; Halpin, Claire; Mascher, Martin; Fleury, Delphine L.; et al.
    Langridge, PeterStein, NilsWaugh, Robbie
    Frontiers in Plant Science 2019; 10: Art. 544
    We compared the performance of two commonly used genotyping platforms, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and single nucleotide polymorphism-arrays (SNP), to investigate the extent and pattern of genetic variation within a collection of 1,000 diverse barley genotypes selected from the German Federal ex situ GenBank hosted at IPK Gatersleben. Each platform revealed equivalent numbers of robust bi-allelic SNPs (39,733 and 37,930 SNPs for the 50K SNP-array and GBS datasets respectively). A small overlap of 464 SNPs was common to both platforms, indicating that the methodologies we used selectively access informative polymorphism in different portions of the barley genome. Approximately half of the GBS dataset was comprised of SNPs with minor allele frequencies (MAFs) below 1%, illustrating the power of GBS to detect rare alleles in diverse germplasm collections. While desired for certain applications, the highly robust calling of alleles at the same SNPs across multiple populations is an advantage of the SNP-array, allowing direct comparisons of data from related or unrelated studies. Overall MAFs and diversity statistics (π) were higher for the SNP-array data, potentially reflecting the conscious removal of markers with a low MAF in the ascertainment population. A comparison of similarity matrices revealed a positive correlation between both approaches, supporting the validity of using either for entire GenBank characterization. To explore the potential of each dataset for focused genetic analyses we explored the outcomes of their use in genome-wide association scans for row type, growth habit and non-adhering hull, and discriminant analysis of principal components for the drivers of sub-population differentiation. Interpretation of the results from both types of analysis yielded broadly similar conclusions indicating that choice of platform used for such analyses should be determined by the research question being asked, group preferences and their capabilities to extract and interpret the different types of output data easily and quickly. Access to the requisite infrastructure for running, processing, analyzing, querying, storing, and displaying either datatype is an additional consideration. Our investigations reveal that for barley the cost per genotyping assay is less for SNP-arrays than GBS, which translates to a cost per informative datapoint being significantly lower for the SNP-array.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Full NLO corrections to 3-jet production and R32 at the LHC 

    Reyer, Max; Schönherr, Marek; Schumann, Steffen
    The European Physical Journal C 2019; 79(4): Art. 321
    We present the evaluation of the complete set of NLO corrections to three-jet production at the LHC. To this end we consider all contributions of O(αnsαm) with n+m=3 and n+m=4. This includes in particular also subleading Born contributions of electroweak origin, as well as electroweak virtual and QED real-radiative corrections. As an application we present results for the three- over two-jet ratio R32. While the impact of non-QCD corrections on the total cross section is rather small, they can exceed −10% for high jet transverse momenta. The R32 observable turns out to be very stable against electroweak corrections, receiving absolute corrections below 5% even in the high-pT region.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Reconciling Canopy Interception Parameterization and Rainfall Forcing Frequency in the Community Land Model for Simulating Evapotranspiration of Rainforests and Oil Palm Plantations in Indonesia 

    Fan, Yuanchao; Meijide, Ana; Lawrence, David M.; Roupsard, Olivier; Carlson, Kimberly M.; Chen, Hsin‐Yi; Röll, Alexander; Niu, Furong; Knohl, Alexander
    Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 2019; 11(3) p.732-751
    By mediating evapotranspiration processes, plant canopies play an important role in the terrestrial water cycle and regional climate. Substantial uncertainties exist in modeling canopy water interception and related hydrological processes due to rainfall forcing frequency selection and varying canopy traits. Here we design a new time interpolation method “zero” to better represent convective‐type precipitation in tropical regions. We also implement and recalibrate plant functional type‐specific interception parameters for rainforests and oil palm plantations, where oil palms express higher water interception capacity than forests, using the Community Land Model (CLM) versions 4.5 and 5.0 with CLM‐Palm embedded. Reconciling the interception scheme with realistic precipitation forcing produces more accurate canopy evaporation and transpiration for both plant functional types, which in turn improves simulated evapotranspiration and energy partitioning when benchmarked against observations from our study sites in Indonesia and an extensive literature review. Regional simulations for Sumatra and Kalimantan show that industrial oil palm plantations have 18–27% higher transpiration and 15–20% higher evapotranspiration than forests on an annual regional average basis across different ages or successional stages, even though the forests experience higher average precipitation according to reanalysis data. Our land‐only modeling results indicate that current oil palm plantations in Sumatra and Kalimantan use 15–20% more water (mean 220 mm or 20 Gt) per year compared to lowland rainforests of the same extent. The extra water use by oil palm reduces soil moisture and runoff that could affect ecosystem services such as productivity of staple crops and availability of drinking water in rural areas.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Extreme velocity gradients in turbulent flows 

    Buaria, Dhawal; Pumir, Alain; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Yeung, P. K.
    New Journal of Physics 2019; 21(4): Art. 043004
    Fully turbulent flows are characterized by intermittent formation of very localized and intense velocity gradients. These gradients can be orders of magnitude larger than their typical value and lead to many unique properties of turbulence. Using direct numerical simulations of the Navier–Stokes equations with unprecedented small-scale resolution, we characterize such extreme events over a significant range of turbulence intensities, parameterized by the Taylor-scale Reynolds number (Rl). Remarkably, we find the strongest velocity gradients to empirically scale as t l - Rb K 1 , with b »  0.775 0.025,where tK is theKolmogorov time scale (with its inverse, t-K1, being the rms of velocity gradient fluctuations). Additionally, we observe velocity increments across very small distances r  h,where η is theKolmogorov length scale, to be as large as the rms of the velocity fluctuations. Both observations suggest that the smallest length scale in the flow behaves as h l R-a,with a = b - 1 2 , which is at odds with predictions from existing phenomenological theories.Wefind that extreme gradients are arranged in vortex tubes, such that strain conditioned on vorticity grows on average slower than vorticity, approximately as a power law with an exponent g < 1, which weakly increaseswith Rl.Using scaling arguments,we get b = (2 - g)-1,which suggests that βwould also slowly increasewith Rl.We conjecture that approaching themathematical limit of infinite Rl, strain and vorticity would scale similarly resulting in g = 1and hence extreme events occurring at a scale h l R-1/2 corresponding to b = 1.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Accurate Probabilities for Highly Activated Reaction of Polyatomic Molecules on Surfaces Using a High-Dimensional Neural Network Potential: CHD 3 + Cu(111) 

    Gerrits, N.; Shakouri, Khosrow; Behler, Jörg; Kroes, Geert-Jan
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2019; 10(8) p.1763-1768
    An accurate description of reactive scattering of molecules on metal surfaces often requires the modeling of energy transfer between the molecule and the surface phonons. Although ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) can describe this energy transfer, AIMD is at present untractable for reactions with reaction probabilities smaller than 1%. Here, we show that it is possible to use a neural network potential to describe a polyatomic molecule reacting on a mobile metal surface with considerably reduced computational effort compared to AIMD. The highly activated reaction of CHD3 on Cu(111) is used as a test case for this method. It is observed that the reaction probability is influenced considerably by dynamical effects such as the bobsled effect and surface recoil. A special dynamical effect for CHD3 + Cu(111) is that a higher vibrational efficacy is obtained for two quanta in the CH stretch mode than for a single quantum.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Eigenstate thermalization and quantum chaos in the Holstein polaron model 

    Jansen, David; Stolpp, Jan; Vidmar, Lev; Heidrich-Meisner, Fabian
    Physical Review B 2019; 99(15): Art. 155130
    The eigenstate thermalization hypothesis (ETH) is a successful theory that provides sufficient criteria for ergodicity in quantum many-body systems. Most studies were carried out for Hamiltonians relevant for ultracold quantum gases and single-component systems of spins, fermions, or bosons. The paradigmatic example for thermalization in solid-state physics are phonons serving as a bath for electrons. This situation is often viewed from an open-quantum-system perspective. Here, we ask whether a minimal microscopic model for electron-phonon coupling is quantum chaotic and whether it obeys ETH, if viewed as a closed quantum system. Using exact diagonalization, we address this question in the framework of the Holstein polaron model. Even though the model describes only a single itinerant electron, whose coupling to dispersionless phonons is the only integrability-breaking term, we find that the spectral statistics and the structure of Hamiltonian eigenstates exhibit essential properties of the corresponding random-matrix ensemble. Moreover, we verify the ETH ansatz both for diagonal and off-diagonal matrix elements of typical phonon and electron observables, and show that the ratio of their variances equals the value predicted from random-matrix theory.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Proximal and distal control for ligand binding in neuroglobin: role of the CD loop and evidence for His64 gating 

    Exertier, Cécile; Milazzo, Lisa; Freda, Ida; Montemiglio, Linda Celeste; Scaglione, Antonella; Cerutti, Gabriele; Parisi, Giacomo; Anselmi, Massimiliano; Smulevich, Giulietta; Savino, Carmelinda; et al.
    Vallone, Beatrice
    Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 5326
    Neuroglobin (Ngb) is predominantly expressed in neurons of the central and peripheral nervous systems and it clearly seems to be involved in neuroprotection. Engineering Ngb to observe structural and dynamic alterations associated with perturbation in ligand binding might reveal important structural determinants, and could shed light on key features related to its mechanism of action. Our results highlight the relevance of the CD loop and of Phe106 as distal and proximal controls involved in ligand binding in murine neuroglobin. We observed the effects of individual and combined mutations of the CD loop and Phe106 that conferred to Ngb higher CO binding velocities, which we correlate with the following structural observations: the mutant F106A shows, upon CO binding, a reduced heme sliding hindrance, with the heme present in a peculiar double conformation, whereas in the CD loop mutant "Gly-loop", the original network of interactions between the loop and the heme was abolished, enhancing binding via facilitated gating out of the distal His64. Finally, the double mutant, combining both mutations, showed a synergistic effect on CO binding rates. Resonance Raman spectroscopy and MD simulations support our findings on structural dynamics and heme interactions in wild type and mutated Ngbs.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Biodiversity data integration—the significance of data resolution and domain 

    König, Christian; Weigelt, Patrick; Schrader, Julian; Taylor, Amanda; Kattge, Jens; Kreft, Holger
    PLOS Biology 2019; 17(3): Art. e3000183
    ecent years have seen an explosion in the availability of biodiversity data describing the distribution, function, and evolutionary history of life on earth. Integrating these heterogeneous data remains a challenge due to large variations in observational scales, collection purposes, and terminologies. Here, we conceptualize widely used biodiversity data types according to their domain (what aspect of biodiversity is described?) and informational resolution (how specific is the description?). Applying this framework to major data providers in biodiversity research reveals a strong focus on the disaggregated end of the data spectrum, whereas aggregated data types remain largely underutilized. We discuss the implications of this imbalance for the scope and representativeness of current macroecological research and highlight the synergies arising from a tighter integration of biodiversity data across domains and resolutions. We lay out effective strategies for data collection, mobilization, imputation, and sharing and summarize existing frameworks for scalable and integrative biodiversity research. Finally, we use two case studies to demonstrate how the explicit consideration of data domain and resolution helps to identify biases and gaps in global data sets and achieve unprecedented taxonomic and geographical data coverage in macroecological analyses.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Agroforestry creates carbon sinks whilst enhancing the environment in agricultural landscapes in Europe 

    Kay, Sonja; Rega, Carlo; Moreno, Gerardo; den Herder, Michael; Palma, João H.N.; Borek, Robert; Crous-Duran, Josep; Freese, Dirk; Giannitsopoulos, Michail; Graves, Anil; et al.
    Jäger, MareikeLamersdorf, NorbertMemedemin, DaniyarMosquera-Losada, RosaPantera, AnastasiaParacchini, Maria LuisaParis, PierluigiRoces-Díaz, José V.Rolo, VictorRosati, AdolfoSandor, MignonSmith, JoSzerencsits, ErichVarga, AnnaViaud, ValérieWawer, RafalBurgess, Paul J.Herzog, Felix
    Land Use Policy 2019; 83 p.581-593
    Agroforestry, relative to conventional agriculture, contributes significantly to carbon sequestration, increases a range of regulating ecosystem services, and enhances biodiversity. Using a transdisciplinary approach, we combined scientific and technical knowledge to evaluate nine environmental pressures in terms of ecosystem services in European farmland and assessed the carbon storage potential of suitable agroforestry systems, proposed by regional experts. First, regions with potential environmental pressures were identified with respect to soil health (soil erosion by water and wind, low soil organic carbon), water quality (water pollution by nitrates, salinization by irrigation), areas affected by climate change (rising temperature), and by underprovision in biodiversity (pollination and pest control pressures, loss of soil biodiversity). The maps were overlaid to identify areas where several pressures accumulate. In total, 94.4% of farmlands suffer from at least one environmental pressure, pastures being less affected than arable lands. Regional hotspots were located in north-western France, Denmark, Central Spain, north and south-western Italy, Greece, and eastern Romania. The 10% of the area with the highest number of accumulated pressures were defined as Priority Areas, where the implementation of agroforestry could be particularly effective. In a second step, European agroforestry experts were asked to propose agroforestry practices suitable for the Priority Areas they were familiar with, and identified 64 different systems covering a wide range of practices. These ranged from hedgerows on field boundaries to fast growing coppices or scattered single tree systems. Third, for each proposed system, the carbon storage potential was assessed based on data from the literature and the results were scaled-up to the Priority Areas. As expected, given the wide range of agroforestry practices identified, the carbon sequestration potentials ranged between 0.09 and 7.29 t C ha−1 a−1. Implementing agroforestry on the Priority Areas could lead to a sequestration of 2.1 to 63.9 million t C a−1 (7.78 and 234.85 million t CO2eq a−1) depending on the type of agroforestry. This corresponds to between 1.4 and 43.4% of European agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, promoting agroforestry in the Priority Areas would contribute to mitigate the environmental pressures identified there. We conclude that the strategic and spatially targeted establishment of agroforestry systems could provide an effective means of meeting EU policy objectives on GHG emissions whilst providing a range of other important benefits.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    Insect and plant traits drive local and landscape effects on herbivory in grassland fragments 

    Rossetti, Maria Rosa; Rösch, Verena; Videla, Martín; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, Péter
    Ecosphere 2019; 10(5): Art. e02717
    Herbivory is one of the most important antagonistic insect–plant interactions and can be influenced by factors at local and landscape scales. Landscape fragmentation may reduce herbivory directly (i.e., decreasing abundance and species richness of herbivores), but also indirectly increase herbivory (i.e., releasing herbivores from top-down control). At a local scale, reduced plant diversity may enhance herbivory through lessened associated resistance, while resource availability (i.e., higher vegetation height and cover) may promote herbivory. Few studies have simultaneously considered the influence of local and landscape variables on insect herbivory. We evaluate effects of landscape (fragment size, connectivity, and arable land percentage) and local factors (plant cover and height and plant species richness) on insect herbivory in fragmented calcareous grasslands. Further, we ask whether these effects depend on feeding traits of herbivores (chewers vs. suckers) and habitat specialization of plants (specialists vs. generalists). Results show that herbivory was best explained by models including variables at both local and landscape scales. However, local factors were more important than landscape variables. Herbivory was in all cases positively related to height of herbs (i.e., taller and more heterogeneous food resources), whereas the effect of plant species richness varied with feeding traits of herbivores. Herbivory by chewers, which are commonly more generalist feeders, was negatively affected by plant species richness, supporting the idea of associated plant resistance. In contrast, herbivory by suckers, which tend to be more specialized, increased with plant richness. Although there was little influence of landscape scale, herbivory on specialist plants was significantly higher in smaller grasslands probably as a consequence of herbivore release from natural enemies. Functional redundancy among herbivore species would allow to maintain overall herbivory in fragmented calcareous grasslands. This study highlights the need to consider different herbivore and plant traits for a better understanding of herbivory responses to local and landscape factors.
    View Document Abstract
  • Journal Article

    A Survey of Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate-Dependent Proteins in the Gram-Positive Model Bacterium Bacillus subtilis 

    Richts, Björn; Rosenberg, Jonathan; Commichau, Fabian M.
    Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences 2019; 6: Art. 32
    The B6 vitamer pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) is a co-factor for proteins and enzymes that are involved in diverse cellular processes. Therefore, PLP is essential for organisms from all kingdoms of life. Here we provide an overview about the PLP-dependent proteins from the Gram-positive soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Since B. subtilis serves as a model system in basic research and as a production host in industry, knowledge about the PLP-dependent proteins could facilitate engineering the bacteria for biotechnological applications. The survey revealed that the majority of the PLP-dependent proteins are involved in metabolic pathways like amino acid biosynthesis and degradation, biosynthesis of antibacterial compounds, utilization of nucleotides as well as in iron and carbon metabolism. Many PLP-dependent proteins participate in de novo synthesis of the co-factors biotin, folate, heme, and NAD+ as well as in cell wall metabolism, tRNA modification, regulation of gene expression, sporulation, and biofilm formation. A surprisingly large group of PLP-dependent proteins (29%) belong to the group of poorly characterized proteins. This review underpins the need to characterize the PLP-dependent proteins of unknown function to fully understand the “PLP-ome” of B. subtilis.
    View Document Abstract

View more