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    ABSTRACT: Aerenchyma attributes plant tissues that contain enlarged spaces exceeding those commonly found as intracellular spaces. It is known that sulfur (S) deficiency leads to formation of aerenchyma in maize adventitious roots by lysis of cortical cells. Seven-day-old maize plants were grown in a hydroponics setup for 19 days under S deprivation against full nutrition. At day 17 and 26 from sowing (d10 and d19 of the deprivation, respectively), a detailed analysis of the total sulfur and sulfate allocation among organs as well as a morphometric characterization were performed. Apart from roots, in S-deprived plants aerenchyma formation was additionally found in the second leaf and in the mesocotyl, too. The lamina (LA) of this leaf showed enlarged gas spaces between the intermediate and small vascular bundles by lysis of mesophyll cells and to a greater extent on the d10 compared to d19. Aerenchymatous spaces were mainly distributed along the middle region of leaf axis. At d10, -S leaves invested less dry mass with more surface area, whilst lesser dry mass was invested per unit surface area in -S LAs. In the mesocotyl, aerenchyma was located near the scutelar node, where mesocotyl roots were developing. In -S roots, more dry mass was invested per unit length. Our data suggest that trying to utilize the available scarce sulfur in an optimal way, the S-deprived plant fine tunes the existing roots with the same length or leaves with more surface area per unit of dry mass. Aerenchyma was not found in the scutelar node and the bases of the attached roots. The sheaths, the LAs' bases and the crown did not form aerenchyma. This trophic aerenchyma is a localized one, presumably to support new developing tissues nearby, by induced cell death and recycling of the released material. Reduced sulfur allocation among organs followed that of dry mass in a proportional fashion.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Frontiers in Plant Science
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    ABSTRACT: An approach to derive relationships for defining land degradation and desertification risk and developing appropriate tools for assessing the effectiveness of the various land management practices using indicators is presented in the present paper. In order to investigate which indicators are most effective in assessing the level of desertification risk, a total of 70 candidate indicators was selected providing information for the biophysical environment, socio-economic conditions, and land management characteristics. The indicators were defined in 1,672 field sites located in 17 study areas in the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Based on an existing geo-referenced database, classes were designated for each indicator and a sensitivity score to desertification was assigned to each class based on existing research. The obtained data were analyzed for the various processes of land degradation at farm level. The derived methodology was assessed using independent indicators, such as the measured soil erosion rate, and the organic matter content of the soil. Based on regression analyses, the collected indicator set can be reduced to a number of effective indicators ranging from 8 to 17 in the various processes of land degradation. Among the most important indicators identified as affecting land degradation and desertification risk were rain seasonality, slope gradient, plant cover, rate of land abandonment, land-use intensity, and the level of policy implementation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Environmental Management
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    ABSTRACT: Indicator-based approaches are often used to monitor land degradation and desertification from the global to the very local scale. However, there is still little agreement on which indicators may best reflect both status and trends of these phenomena. In this study, various processes of land degradation and desertification have been analyzed in 17 study sites around the world using a wide set of biophysical and socioeconomic indicators. The database described earlier in this issue by Kosmas and others (Environ Manage, 2013) for defining desertification risk was further analyzed to define the most important indicators related to the following degradation processes: water erosion in various land uses, tillage erosion, soil salinization, water stress, forest fires, and overgrazing. A correlation analysis was applied to the selected indicators in order to identify the most important variables contributing to each land degradation process. The analysis indicates that the most important indicators are: (i) rain seasonality affecting water erosion, water stress, and forest fires, (ii) slope gradient affecting water erosion, tillage erosion and water stress, and (iii) water scarcity soil salinization, water stress, and forest fires. Implementation of existing regulations or policies concerned with resources development and environmental sustainability was identified as the most important indicator of land protection.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Environmental Management


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Top publications last week by reads

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 11/2014; 39. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.139
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Theoretical and Applied Climatology 02/2016; DOI:10.1007/s00704-016-1742-9
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