Browsing by Subject "FERTILIZATION"

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  • Palviainen, Marjo; Aaltonen, Heidi; Laurén, Ari; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Ojala, Anne; Pumpanen, Jukka (2020)
    Biochar is charred material formed by the pyrolysis of organic matter. The addition of biochar to soil may offer a chance to mitigate climate change by increasing soil carbon stocks, improving soil fertility and enhancing plant growth. Vast majority of biochar studies are conducted in agricultural soils, and field experiments studying the effect of biochar on tree growth in boreal forests are lacking. We applied spruce biochar amendments of 5 and 10 Mg ha(-1) to the soil surface in young boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in Southern Finland and studied the responses in tree growth and needle nitrogen (N) and N-15 concentrations during the first three years after treatment. The biochar amendment of 10 Mg ha(-1) increased the diameter growth of dominant trees significantly, on average by 1 mm year(-1), which corresponded to 25% increase compared to control during the three years study period. The positive growth responses were less pronounced in height than in diameter growth. The biochar amendment of 5 Mg ha(-1) increased the height growth of dominant trees by 0.16 m or 12% compared to the control during three years. Biochar amendments did not affect N and N-15 concentrations in needles. The results suggest that wood biochar amendment can be a climate-friendly method to increase tree biomass production in nutrient poor, xeric, young Scots pine forests.
  • Palviainen, Marjo; Aaltonen, Heidi; Laurén, Ari; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Ojala, Anne; Pumpanen, Jukka (2020)
    Biochar is charred material formed by the pyrolysis of organic matter. The addition of biochar to soil may offer a chance to mitigate climate change by increasing soil carbon stocks, improving soil fertility and enhancing plant growth. Vast majority of biochar studies are conducted in agricultural soils, and field experiments studying the effect of biochar on tree growth in boreal forests are lacking. We applied spruce biochar amendments of 5 and 10 Mg ha(-1) to the soil surface in young boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in Southern Finland and studied the responses in tree growth and needle nitrogen (N) and N-15 concentrations during the first three years after treatment. The biochar amendment of 10 Mg ha(-1) increased the diameter growth of dominant trees significantly, on average by 1 mm year(-1), which corresponded to 25% increase compared to control during the three years study period. The positive growth responses were less pronounced in height than in diameter growth. The biochar amendment of 5 Mg ha(-1) increased the height growth of dominant trees by 0.16 m or 12% compared to the control during three years. Biochar amendments did not affect N and N-15 concentrations in needles. The results suggest that wood biochar amendment can be a climate-friendly method to increase tree biomass production in nutrient poor, xeric, young Scots pine forests.
  • Palviainen, Marjo; Aaltonen, Heidi; Laurén, Ari; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Ojala, Anne; Pumpanen, Jukka (2020)
    Biochar is charred material formed by the pyrolysis of organic matter. The addition of biochar to soil may offer a chance to mitigate climate change by increasing soil carbon stocks, improving soil fertility and enhancing plant growth. Vast majority of biochar studies are conducted in agricultural soils, and field experiments studying the effect of biochar on tree growth in boreal forests are lacking. We applied spruce biochar amendments of 5 and 10 Mg ha(-1) to the soil surface in young boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in Southern Finland and studied the responses in tree growth and needle nitrogen (N) and N-15 concentrations during the first three years after treatment. The biochar amendment of 10 Mg ha(-1) increased the diameter growth of dominant trees significantly, on average by 1 mm year(-1), which corresponded to 25% increase compared to control during the three years study period. The positive growth responses were less pronounced in height than in diameter growth. The biochar amendment of 5 Mg ha(-1) increased the height growth of dominant trees by 0.16 m or 12% compared to the control during three years. Biochar amendments did not affect N and N-15 concentrations in needles. The results suggest that wood biochar amendment can be a climate-friendly method to increase tree biomass production in nutrient poor, xeric, young Scots pine forests.
  • Tommila, Tero; Kämäräinen, Antti; Kokko, Harri; Palonen, Pauliina (2022)
    Methods for protected container cultivation of arctic bramble (Rubus arcticus L.) are currently under development. The aim of this study was to evaluate coir and wood shavings as alternatives to peat-based growth substrate (growing medium) in the intensive greenhouse cultivation of arctic bramble. The substrates used were a commercial coir mix (Coir), wood shavings from sodium silicate impregnated wood (Wood), a mixture of 95 % horticultural peat and 5 % perlite (HPP), and a mixture of 80 % peat and 20 % wood shavings (HPWood). Growth and fruit yield were highest in HPP, followed by Coir and HPWood, and were most severely reduced in Wood. Shoot nutrient analyses and soil drainage water observations suggested that the poor performance of Wood was mainly caused by release of sodium silicate into the rooting zone due to unsuccessful substrate processing. A higher proportion of the pore space in Wood was air-filled compared to other substrates, possibly limiting water availability. Overall, the suitability of both coir and wood shavings as growth substrates for arctic bramble was relatively low. However, it is likely that the poor performance of wood shavings was caused largely by inappropriate preparation. For wood waste to be useful as a growth substrate, the wood material should be specially processed for that purpose.
  • Pershina, Elizaveta; Valkonen, Jari Pekka Tapani; Kurki, Paivi; Ivanova, Ekaterina; Chirak, Evgeny; Korvigo, Ilia; Provorov, Nykolay; Andronov, Evgeny (2015)
    One of the most important challenges in agriculture is to determine the effectiveness and environmental impact of certain farming practices. The aim of present study was to determine and compare the taxonomic composition of the microbiomes established in soil following long-term exposure (14 years) to a conventional and organic farming systems (CFS and OFS accordingly). Soil from unclared forest next to the fields was used as a control. The analysis was based on RT-PCR and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes of bacteria and archaea. The number of bacteria was significantly lower in CFS than in OFS and woodland. The highest amount of archaea was detected in woodland, whereas the amounts in CFS and OFS were lower and similar. The most common phyla in the soil microbial communities analyzed were Proteobacteria (57.9%), Acidobacteria (16.1%), Actinobacteria (7.9%), Verrucomicrobia (2.0%), Bacteroidetes (2.7%) and Firmicutes (4.8%). Woodland soil differed from croplands in the taxonomic composition of microbial phyla. Croplands were enriched with Proteobacteria (mainly the genus Pseudomonas), while Acidobacteria were detected almost exclusively in woodland soil. The most pronounced differences between the CFS and OFS microbiomes were found within the genus Pseudomonas, which significantly (p<0,05) increased its number in CFS soil compared to OFS. Other differences in microbiomes of cropping systems concerned minor taxa. A higher relative abundance of bacteria belonging to the families Oxalobacteriaceae, Koribacteriaceae, Nakamurellaceae and genera Ralstonia, Paenibacillus and Pedobacter was found in CFS as compared with OFS. On the other hand, microbiomes of OFS were enriched with proteobacteria of the family Comamonadaceae (genera Hylemonella) and Hyphomicrobiaceae, actinobacteria from the family Micrococcaceae, and bacteria of the genera Geobacter, Methylotenera, Rhizobium (mainly Rhizobium leguminosarum) and Clostridium. Thus, the fields under OFS and CFS did not differ greatly for the composition of the microbiome. These results, which were also confirmed by cluster analysis, indicated that microbial communities in the field soil do not necessarily differ largely between conventional and organic farming systems.
  • Lammel, Daniel R.; Barth, Gabriel; Ovaskainen, Otso; Cruz, Leonardo M.; Zanatta, Josileia A.; Ryo, Masahiro; de Souza, Emanuel M.; Pedrosa, Fabio O. (2018)
    Background: pH is frequently reported as the main driver for prokaryotic community structure in soils. However, pH changes are also linked to "spillover effects" on other chemical parameters (e.g., availability of Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) and plant growth, but these indirect effects on the microbial communities are rarely investigated. Usually, pH also co-varies with some confounding factors, such as land use, soil management (e.g., tillage and chemical inputs), plant cover, and/or edapho-climatic conditions. So, a more comprehensive analysis of the direct and indirect effects of pH brings a better understanding of the mechanisms driving prokaryotic (archaeal and bacterial) community structures. Results: We evaluated an agricultural soil pH gradient (from 4 to 6, the typical range for tropical farms), in a liming gradient with confounding factors minimized, investigating relationships between prokaryotic communities (16S rRNA) and physical-chemical parameters (indirect effects). Correlations, hierarchical modeling of species communities (HMSC), and random forest (RF) modeling indicated that both direct and indirect effects of the pH gradient affected the prokaryotic communities. Some OTUs were more affected by the pH changes (e.g., some Actinobacteria), while others were more affected by the indirect pH effects (e.g., some Proteobacteria). HMSC detected a phylogenetic signal related to the effects. Both HMSC and RF indicated that the main indirect effect was the pH changes on the availability of some elements (e.g., Al, Fe, and Cu), and secondarily, effects on plant growth and nutrient cycling also affected the OTUs. Additionally, we found that some of the OTUs that responded to pH also correlated with CO2, CH4, and N2O greenhouse gas fluxes. Conclusions: Our results indicate that there are two distinct pH-related mechanisms driving prokaryotic community structures, the direct effect and "spillover effects" of pH (indirect effects). Moreover, the indirect effects are highly relevant for some OTUs and consequently for the community structure; therefore, it is a mechanism that should be further investigated in microbial ecology.
  • Mattila, Tuomas J.; Rajala, Jukka (2022)
    Traditionally, locally calibrated soil tests were used for fertilizer and lime recommendations. Farmers and advisors are increasingly using new 'universal' soil tests without local calibration. The objective of this study was to compare five commercially available soil tests and to determine whether they would provide similar recommendations. In total, 24 fields in Western Finland were sampled for 4 years while being treated with fertilizers, lime and manure. The soil samples were analysed with Mehlich-3, ammonium acetate, H3A, hydrochloric acid and mild acetic acid (Spurway) extractants. In addition, Soil Health Tool (CO2 burst, water-soluble C and N) and tissue testing were conducted. The different tests extracted different orders of magnitude of nutrients (especially P and Mg), but the results from the different extractions were correlated. Mehlich-3 degree of phosphorus saturation (DPS) presented a threshold, below which soluble phosphorus was not detected. Similar thresholds were found for P, S and Mg. Mehlich-3 and ammonium acetate provided similar results for Ca, Mg and K and can be used interchangeably for liming recommendations. Mehlich-3 identified more fields with Zn, Cu, B and S deficiencies and less fields with Mn deficiencies compared with ammonium acetate + EDTA and tissue testing. The tests had strong correlation, but the determination of nutrient deficiencies needs local calibration of deficiency limits.
  • Li, Yan; Kang, Jieyu; Li, Zhijun; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang (2020)
    Aims Populus deltoides and P. euramericana are widely used in China as major forestry species. At present, little is known about their responses to nitrogen (N) deficiency when grown in monocultures or mixed plantations. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the growth, and morphological and physiological responses of P. deltoides and P. euramericana to different N levels under competition conditions. Methods We employed two Populus species (P. deltoides and P. euramericana) to discover how N deficiency affects plant traits under different competition types (P. deltoides x P. deltoides, intraspecific competition; P. euramericana x P. euramericana, intraspecific competition; P. deltoides x P. euramericana, interspecific competition). Potted seedlings were exposed to two N levels (normal N, N deficiency), and nitrogen- and competition-driven differences in growth, morphology and physiology were examined. Important Findings Under normal N conditions, interspecific competition significantly decreased the total root weight, root mass fraction (RMF), root-shoot ratio (R/S) and carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N), and increased the leaf dry weight, leaf mass fraction and total leaf area of P. euramericana compared with intraspecific competition. The same conditions significantly affected the growth and morphological variables of P. deltoides, except for the dry weight of fine roots, R/S, specific leaf area, RMF, total nitrogen content and C/N compared with intraspecific competition. In addition, chlorophyll a (Chla), total chlorophyll (Tchl), carotenoid contents (Caro) and the carbon isotope composition (delta C-13) of P. deltoides were significantly lower in interspecific competition than in intraspecific competition, but no difference was detected in P. euramericana. The effects of N deficiency on P. deltoides under intraspecific competition were stronger than under interspecific competition. In contrast, the effects of N deficiency on P. euramericana between intraspecific and interspecific competition were not significantly different. These results suggest that under normal N condition, P. deltoides is expected to gain an advantage in monocultures rather than in mixtures with P. euramericana. Under N deficiency, the growth performance of P. euramericana was more stable than that of P. deltoides under both cultivation modes.
  • Kilpeläinen, A.; Strandman, H.; Grönholm, T.; Ikonen, V. -P.; Torssonen, P.; Kellomaki, S.; Peltola, H. (2017)
    We investigated how the initial age structure of a managed, middle boreal (62A degrees N), Norway spruce-dominated (Picea abies L. Karst.) forest area affects the net climate impact of using forest biomass for energy. The model-based analysis used a gap-type forest ecosystem model linked to a life cycle assessment (LCA) tool. The net climate impact of energy biomass refers to the difference in annual net CO2 exchange between the biosystem using forest biomass (logging residues from final felling) and the fossil (reference) system using coal. In the simulations over the 80-year period, the alternative initial age structures of the forest areas were (i) skewed to the right (dominated by young stands), (ii) normally distributed (dominated by middle-aged stands), (iii) skewed to the left (dominated by mature stands), and (iv) evenly distributed (same share of different age classes). The effects of management on net climate impacts were studied using current recommendations as a baseline with a fixed rotation period of 80 years. In alternative management scenarios, the volume of the growing stock was maintained 20% higher over the rotation compared to the baseline, and/or nitrogen fertilization was used to enhance carbon sequestration. According to the results, the initial age structure of the forest area affected largely the net climate impact of using energy biomass over time. An initially right-skewed age structure produced the highest climate benefits over the 80-year simulation period, in contrast to the left-skewed age structure. Furthermore, management that enhanced carbon sequestration increased the potential of energy biomass to replace coal, reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing climate change mitigation.
  • Lindroos, Antti-Jussi; Ryhti, Kira; Kaakkurivaara, Tomi; Uusitalo, Jori; Helmisaari, Helja-Sisko (2019)
    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of leaching of heavy metals (Cr, As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Co, Mo) and earth-alkaline metal, barium (Ba), on the percolation and ditch water quality from the forest roads that contained ash in the road structures. Water quality was studied in the immediate vicinity below the ash layers as well as deeper in the road structure. Water quality was also determined in the drainage water in ditches that crossed the forest roads. A mixture of wood and peat based fly ash was used in the road structures. The treatments were: 1) no ash, 2) a 15 cm layer of ash/gravel mixture, 3) a 20 cm layer of ash/ gravel mixture, 4) a 25 cm layer of ash, and 5) a 50 cm layer of ash. Large variation in the concentrations of Cr, As, Cu, Ni, Pb, Mo and Ba in the percolation water, even within the same treatment, caused difficulties to generalize the results. The concentrations of Cr, As, Ni, Pb, Mo and Ba in water samples were high in some treatment plot lysimeters containing ash compared to the control (no ash). On the other hand, many lysimeters had low and similar concentrations in water samples in the treatment plots containing ash compared to concentrations in the control plots. The ash in the roads did not affect the concentrations in the ditches. The leaching is uneven and seems to take place only from some parts of the ash layer. Risk for leaching is minimal if such parts are not widely spread.
  • Zhao, Peng; Chi, Jinshu; Nilsson, Mats B.; Lofvenius, Mikaell Ottosson; Hogberg, Peter; Jocher, Georg; Lim, Hyungwoo; Mäkelä, Annikki; Marshall, John; Ratcliffe, Joshua; Tian, Xianglin; Nasholm, Torgny; Lundmark, Tomas; Linder, Sune; Peichl, Matthias (2022)
    The boreal forest is an important global carbon (C) sink. Since low soil nitrogen (N) availability is commonly a key constraint on forest productivity, the prevalent view is that increased N input enhances its C sink-strength. This understanding however relies primarily on observations of increased aboveground tree biomass and soil C stock following N fertilization, whereas empirical data evaluating the effects on the whole ecosystem-scale C balance are lacking. Here we use a unique long-term experiment consisting of paired forest stands with eddy covariance measurements to explore the effect of ecosystem-scale N fertilization on the C balance of a managed boreal pine forest. We find that the annual C uptake (i.e. net ecosystem production, NEP) at the fertilized stand was 16 +/- 2% greater relative to the control stand by the end of the first decade of N addition. Subsequently, the ratio of NEP between the fertilized and control stand remained at a stable level during the following five years with an average NEP to N response of 7 & PLUSMN; 1 g C per g N. Our study reveals that this non-linear response of NEP to long-term N fertilization was the result of a cross-seasonal feedback between the N-induced increases in both growing-season C uptake and subsequent winter C emission. We further find that one decade of N addition altered the sensitivity of ecosystem C fluxes to key environmental drivers resulting in divergent responses to weather patterns. Thus, our study highlights the need to account for ecosystem-scale responses to perturbations to improve our understanding of nitrogen-carbon-climate feedbacks in boreal forests.
  • Juutinen, Sari; Moore, Tim R.; Bubier, Jill L.; Arnkil, Sini; Humphreys, Elyn; Marincak, Brenden; Roy, Cameron; Larmola, Tuula (2018)
    Peatlands are globally significant sources of atmospheric methane (CH4). While several studies have examined the effects of nutrient addition on CH4 dynamics, there are few long-term peatland fertilization experiments, which are needed to understand the aggregated effects of nutrient deposition on ecosystem functioning. We investigated responses of CH4 flux and production to long-term field treatments with three levels of N (1.6-6.4 g m(-2) yr(-1) as NH4NO3), potassium and phosphorus (PK, 5.0 g P and 6.3 g K m(-2) yr(-1) as KH2PO4), and NPK in a temperate bog. Methane fluxes were measured in the field from May to August in 2005 and 2015. In 2015 CH4 flux was higher in the NPK treatment with 16 years of 6.4 g N m(-2) yr(-1) than in the control (50.5 vs. 8.6 mg CH4 m(-2) d(-1)). The increase in CH4 flux was associated with wetter conditions derived from peat subsidence. Incubation of peat samples, with and without short-term PK amendment, showed that potential CH4 production was enhanced in the PK treatments, both from field application and by amending the incubation. We suggest that changes in this bog ecosystem originate from long-term vegetation change, increased decomposition and direct nutrient effects on microbial dynamics.
  • Bi, Qing-Fang; Li, Ke-Jie; Zheng, Bang-Xiao; Liu, Xi-Peng; Li, Hong-Zhe; Jin, Bing-Jie; Ding, Kai; Yang, Xiao-Ru; Lin, Xian-Yong; Zhu, Yong-Guan (2020)
    The optimization of more sustainable fertilization practice to relieve phosphorus (P) resource scarcity and increase P fertilizer utilization, a better understanding of the regulatory roles of microbes in P mobilization is urgently required to reduce P input. The genes phoD and pqqC are responsible for regulating organic and inorganic P mobilization, respectively. Using high-throughput sequencing, the corresponding bacterial communities harbored by these genes were determined. We conducted a 4-year rice-rice-crop rotation to investigate the responses of phoD- and pqqC-harboring bacterial communities to the partial replacement of inorganic P fertilizer by organic manure with reduced P input. The results showed that a combination of organic and inorganic fertilization maintained high rice yield, and also produced a more complex and stable phosphate mobilizing bacterial community, which contributed to phosphatase activities more than their gene abundances in the model analysis. Compared with conventional mineral fertilization, organic-inorganic fertilization with reduced P input slightly increased pqqC gene abundance while significantly enhancing the abundance of phoD-harboring bacteria, especially the genera Bradyrhizobium and Methylobacterium known as potential organic P mineralizers which can maintain high rice production. Moreover, the increased pH was the most impactful factor for the phoD- and pqqC-harboring bacterial communities, by promoting microbial P turnover and greatly increasing bioavailable P pools (H2O-Pi and NaHCO3-Pi, NaOH-Pi) in P-deficient paddy soil. Hence, our study demonstrated that the partial replacement of mineral P with organic manure could reshape the phosphate mobilizing and alkaline-phosphomonoesterase encoding bacterial communities towards more resilient and effective to the high P utilization and productivity over intense cultivation, providing insights into the potential of soil microbes in the efficient management of agricultural P fertilization.
  • Ebrahimi, Nashmin; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Hartikainen, Helina; Seppanen, Mervi M. (2019)
    Se deficiency is widespread in agricultural soils; hence, agronomic Se biofortification is an important strategy to overcome its deficiency in humans and animals. InFinland, fertilizers have been amended with inorganic Se for over 20years to reverse the negative effects of low Se content in feed and food. Plant species, climatic conditions, other nutrients and soil properties affect the efficiency of Se biofortification. The present twoyears' study compared the ability of oilseed rape, wheat and forage grasses to uptake fertilizer Se applied as sodium selenate in a sub-boreal environment. The effect of foliar N application on Se uptake was tested in thesecond year. Se concentration was determined in plant parts and in soil samples taken at the end of growth season in both years as well as from another plot where Se fertilizer had been used for 20years. Se fertilizer recovery in harvested wheat and oilseed rape was 1-16%, and in forage grasses was 52-64% in the first harvest and 15-19% in the second harvest. Foliar N application improved Se uptake only at the higher Se fertilizer level. The efficiency of biofortification depended on weather conditions, with forage grasses being the most reliable crop. Oilseed rape as a Se semi-accumulator had no advantage in Se biofortification in field conditions due to low translocation to seeds.
  • Xia, Zhichao; He, Yue; Yu, Lei; Miao, Jie; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang (2020)
    Soil phosphorus (P) availability and its distribution influence plant growth and productivity. To evaluate strategies that allow genotypes to be efficient under variable P environments, we planted six hybrid Populus deltoides clones belonging to the section Aigeiros (Aig), LL1, LL9, NL351, NL35, NL1388 and NL895, to three growth conditions in a greenhouse experiment, including low P, a high homogenous P supply and a high heterogeneous P supply. Functional traits, including foliar and root traits as well as rhizosphere processes, were measured. Large genotypic variation in shoot biomass and leaf P concentration was found in response to the P supply level and pattern. Compared with no P supply, LL1, LL9 and NL895 had a greater root length, biomass and P concentration in leaves under a homogenous P supply, while growth traits of NL351, NL35 and NL1388 were not significantly affected. A heterogeneous P supply enhanced the shoot biomass of LL1 and LL9. The root proliferation of LL1 and LL9 in P-rich patches was related to increased P acquisition in leaves. By contrast, a heterogeneous P supply did not enhance the biomass accumulation and the morphological plasticity of roots in other four genotypes, NL351, NL35, NL895 and NL1388, in P-rich patches. We found that functional traits or rhizosphere processes under low P could predict high P performance in Populus clones. Genotypes with a higher specific root length under low P can accumulate a larger biomass under a homogenous P supply. Conversely, high acid phosphatase concentrations decreased the positive impact of a heterogeneous P supply on a genotype's performance. Our results provide implications and applications for silviculture and forest management.
  • Haapala, Vera; Pohjanvirta, Tarja; Vähänikkilä, Nella; Halkilahti, Jani; Simonen, Henri; Pelkonen, Sinikka; Soveri, Timo; Simojoki, Heli; Autio, Tiina (2018)
    Mycoplasma bovis infections are responsible for substantial economic losses in the cattle industry, have significant welfare effects and increase antibiotic use. The pathogen is often introduced into naive herds through healthy carrier animals. In countries with a low prevalence of M. bovis, transmission from less common sources can be better explored as the pathogen has limited circulation compared to high prevalence populations. In this study, we describe how M. bovis was introduced into two closed and adequately biosecure dairy herds through the use of contaminated semen during artificial insemination (AI), leading to mastitis outbreak in both herds. Epidemiological analysis did not reveal an infection source other than semen. In both farms the primary clinical cases were M. bovis mastitis in cows inseminated with the semen of the same bull four weeks before the onset of the disease. One semen straw derived from the semen tank on the farm and other semen lots of this bull were positive for M. bovis. In contrast, semen samples were negative from other bulls that had been used for insemination in previous or later oestrus to those cows with M. bovis mastitis. Furthermore, cgMLST of M. bovis isolates supported the epidemiological results. To our knowledge this is the first study describing the introduction of M. bovis infection into a naive dairy herd via processed semen. The antibiotics used in semen extenders should be re-evaluated in order to provide farms with M. bovis-free semen or tested M. bovis-free semen should be available.
  • Soinne, Helena; Keskinen, Riikka; Räty, Mari; Kanerva, Sanna; Turtola, Eila; Kaseva, Janne; Nuutinen, Visa; Simojoki, Asko; Salo, Tapio (2021)
    To achieve appropriate yield levels, inherent nitrogen (N) supply and biological N fixation are often complemented by fertilization. To avoid economic losses and negative environmental impacts due to over-application of N fertilizer, estimation of the inherent N supply is critical. We aimed to identify the roles of soil texture and organic matter in N mineralization and yield levels attained in cereal cultivation with or without N fertilization in boreal mineral soils. First, the net N mineralization and soil respiration were measured by laboratory incubation with soil samples varying in clay and organic carbon (C) contents. Secondly, to estimate the inherent soil N supply under field conditions, both unfertilized and fertilized cereal yields were measured in fields on clay soils (clay 30-78%) and coarse-textured soils (clay 0-28%). In clay soils (C 2.5-9.0%), both the net N mineralization and the cereal yields (without and with fertilization) decreased with increasing clay/C ratio. Moreover, in soils with high clay/C ratio, the agronomic N use efficiency (additional yield per kg of fertilizer N) varied considerably, indicating the presence of growth limitations other than N. In coarse-textured soils, the yield increase attained by fertilization increased with increasing organic C. Our results indicate that for clay soils in a cool and humid climate, the higher the clay content, the more organic C is needed to produce reasonable yields and to ensure efficient use of added nutrients without high N losses to the environment. For coarse soils having a rather high mean organic C of 2.3%, the organic C appeared to improve agronomic N use efficiency. For farmers, simple indicators such as the clay/C ratio or the use of non-N-fertilized control plots may be useful for site-specific adjustment of the rates of N fertilization. Highlights We aimed to identify simple indicators of inherent soil N supply applicable at the farm level. In clay soils, the net N mineralization was found to correlate negatively with the clay/C ratio. In coarse-textured soils, agronomic N use efficiency improved with increasing soil organic C. Clay soils with high clay/C ratio are at risk of low yield levels.
  • Petersen., Sindre H.; Bergh, Christina; Gissler, Mika; Åsvold, Bjørn O.; Romundstad, Liv B.; Tiitinen, Aila; Spangmose, Anne L.; Pinborg, Anja; Wennerholm, Ulla-Britt; Henningsen, Anna-Karina A.; Opdahl, Signe (2020)
    Background The use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is increasing worldwide and conception after assisted reproduction currently comprises 3-6% of birth cohorts in the Nordic countries. The risk of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications is higher after ART compared to spontaneously conceived pregnancies. Whether the excess risk of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications in pregnancies following assisted reproduction has changed over time, is unknown. Objectives To investigate whether time trends in risk of pregnancy complications (hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, placental abruption and placenta previa) differ for pregnancies after ART compared to spontaneously conceived pregnancies during three decades of assisted reproduction treatment in the Nordic countries. Study Design In a population-based cohort study, with data from national health registries in Denmark (1994-2014), Finland (1990-2014), Norway (1988-2015) and Sweden (1988-2015), we included 6,830,578 pregnancies resulting in delivery. Among these, 146,998 (2.2%) were pregnancies after assisted reproduction (125,708 singleton pregnancies, 20,668 twin pregnancies and 622 of higher order plurality) and 6,683,132 (97.8%) pregnancies were conceived spontaneously (6,595,185 singleton pregnancies, 87,106 twin pregnancies and 1,289 of higher order plurality). We used logistic regression with post-estimation to estimate absolute risks and risk differences for each complication. We repeated analyses for singleton and twin pregnancies, separately. In sub-samples with available information, we also adjusted for maternal body mass index, smoking during pregnancy, previous cesarean section, culture duration and cryopreservation. Results The risk of each placental complication was consistently higher in pregnancies following ART compared to spontaneously conceived pregnancies across the study period, except for hypertensive disorders in twin pregnancies, where risks were similar. Risk of hypertensive disorders increased over time in twin pregnancies for both conception methods, but more strongly for pregnancies following ART (risk difference 1.73 percentage points per 5 years, 95% confidence interval 1.35 to 2.11) than for spontaneously conceived twins (risk difference 0.75 percentage points, 95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.89). No clear time trends were found for hypertensive disorders in singleton pregnancies. Risk of placental abruption decreased over time in all groups (risk difference -0.16 percentage points, 95% confidence interval -0.19 to -0.12 and -0.06 percentage points, 95% confidence interval -0.06 to -0.05 for pregnancies after assisted reproduction and spontaneously conceived pregnancies, respectively, for singletons and multiple pregnancies combined). Over time, the risk of placenta previa increased in pregnancies after assisted reproduction among both singletons (risk difference 0.21 percentage points, 95% confidence interval 0.14 to 0.27) and twins (risk difference 0.30 percentage points, 95% confidence interval 0.16 to 0.43), but remained stable in spontaneously conceived pregnancies. When adjusting for culture duration, the temporal increase in placenta previa became weaker in all groups of ART pregnancies, whereas adjustment for cryopreservation moderately attenuated trends in ART twin pregnancies. Conclusions The risk of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications following ART remains higher compared to spontaneously conceived pregnancies, despite declining rates of multiple pregnancies. For hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and placental abruption, pregnancies after assisted reproduction follow the same time trends as the background population, whereas for placenta previa, risk has increased over time in pregnancies after ART.