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  • Stam, Åsa; He, Xiaolan; Kaasalainen, Ulla; Toivonen, Mikko Evert; Enroth, Johannes; Räsänen, Matti; Rikkinen, Jouko (2020)
    The dispersal ecology of tropical non-vascular epiphytes has rarely been experimentally investigated. We studied epiphyte colonisation on 1 × 1 m polyethene nets placed for four years at seven sites at different elevations in montane forests in the Taita Hills, Kenya. During the first year the nets were also used to measure fog deposition. We predicted that differences in growth conditions would affect colonisation and subsequent growth of non-vascular epiphytes and result in clear differences in epiphyte cover and biomass, and community composition among sites. After four years the nets were taken down for determination of epiphyte cover and biomass. The diversity of established liverworts and macrolichens was also examined. Many liverwort and macrolichen species established diverse communities on the nets placed in the moist upper-montane zone. This was in contrast with the situation in the drier lower-montane zone where only green algae and crustose lichens were able to colonise most nets. Light intensity was an important determinant of epiphyte community composition, with liverworts dominating on nets under closed forest canopies and lichens dominating at more open sites. Atmospheric moisture was also important, with lichens benefiting from abundant fog deposition at open and windy sites. The dry weight of epiphytes (per unit area) on lichen-dominated nets was greater than on liverwort-dominated nets, while the highest cover was generally observed on liverwort-dominated nets. Our results demonstrate that polyethylene nets can be effectively used to study colonisation of non-vascular epiphytes as well as the abiotic and biotic factors controlling epiphyte colonisation and community composition in tropical forests. The liverworts Acanthocoleus chrysophyllus and Diplasiolejeunea kraussiana were new additions to the Kenyan bryophyte flora.
  • Merivaara, Arto; Zini, Jacopo; Koivunotko, Elle; Valkonen, Sami; Korhonen, Ossi; Fernandes, Francisco M.; Yliperttula, Marjo (2021)
    Freeze-drying is the most widespread method to preserve protein drugs and vaccines in a dry form facilitating their storage and transportation without the laborious and expensive cold chain. Extending this method for the preservation of natural biomaterials and cells in a dry form would provide similar benefits, but most results in the domain are still below expectations. In this review, rather than consider freeze-drying as a traditional black box we "break it" through a detailed process thinking approach. We discuss freeze-drying from process thinking aspects, introduce the chemical, physical, and mechanical environments important in this process, and present advanced biophotonic process analytical technology. In the end, we review the state of the art in the freezedrying of the biomaterials, extracellular vesicles, and cells. We suggest that the rational design of the experiment and implementation of advanced biophotonic tools are required to successfully preserve the natural biomaterials and cells by freeze-drying. We discuss this change of paradigm with existing literature and elaborate on our perspective based on our new unpublished results.