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#### Surface Preparation and Treatment for Large-Scale 3D-Printed Composite Tooling Coating Adhesion ﻿

Coatings 2018; 8(12): Art. 457
Recent advances in large-scale thermoplastic additive manufacturing (AM), using fused deposition modelling (FDM), have shown that the technology can effectively produce large aerospace tools with common feed stocks, costing 2.3 $/kg, such as a 20% carbon-filled acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Large-scale additive manufacturing machines have build-volumes in the range of cubic meters and use commercially available pellet feedstock thermoplastics, which are significantly cheaper (5–10$/kg) than the filament feedstocks for desktop 3D printers (20–50 \$/kg). Additionally, large-scale AM machines have a higher material throughput on the order of 50 kg/h. This enables the cost-efficient tool production for several industries. Large-scale 3D-printed tooling will be computerized numerical control (CNC)-machined and -coated, to provide a surface suitable for demolding the composite parts. This paper outlines research undertaken to review and improve the adhesion of the coating systems to large, low-cost AM composite tooling, for marine or infrastructure composite applications. Lower cost tooling systems typically have a lower dimensional accuracy and thermal operating requirements than might be required for aerospace tooling. As such, they can use lower cost commodity grade thermoplastics. The polymer systems explored in the study included polypropylene (PP), styrene-maleic anhydride (SMA), and polylactic acid (PLA). Bio-based filler materials were used to reduce cost and increase the strength and stiffness of the material. Fillers used in the study included wood flour, at 30% by weight and spray-dried cellulose nano-fibrils, at 20% by weight. Applicable adhesion of the coating was achieved with PP, after surface treatment, and untreated SMA and PLA showed desirable coating adhesion results. PLA wood-filled composites offered the best properties for the desired application and, furthermore, they have environment-friendly advantages
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#### High Morphological Differentiation in Crown Architecture Contrasts with Low Population Genetic Structure of German Norway Spruce Stands ﻿

Forests 2018; 9(12): Art. 752
High elevation sites in the low mountain ranges in Germany are naturally covered by Norway spruce (Picea abies (Karst.) L.) stands. Historically, large scale anthropogenic range expansion starting in the mid to late 18th century had a huge impact on the forest composition throughout Germany. Utilisation and exploitation often led to artificial regeneration, mostly carried out using seeds from allochthonous provenances. Usually, autochthonous (natural) high elevation Norway spruce trees have narrow crown phenotypes, whereas lowland trees have broader crowns. Narrow crown phenotypes are likely the result of adaptation to heavy snow loads combined with high wind speeds. In the present study, neighbouring stand pairs of putative autochthonous and allochthonous origin with contrasting phenotypes in high elevation sites were investigated with 200 samples each. These stands are located in the Ore Mountains, the Thuringian Forest, and the Harz Mountains. Additionally, a relict population with the typical narrow high elevation phenotypes was sampled in Thuringia, known as “Schlossbergfichte”. The objective of the study was to quantify supposedly adaptive phenotypic differences in crown architecture and the genetic differentiation of 11 putatively neutral nuclear microsatellite markers (i.e., simple sequence repeats (nSSRs)). The high differentiation of morphological traits (PST = 0.952–0.989) between the neighbouring autochthonous and allochthonous stands of similar age contrasts with the very low neutral genetic differentiation (FST = 0.002–0.007; G″ST = 0.002–0.030), suggesting that directional selection at adaptive gene loci was involved in phenotypic differentiation. Comparing the regions, a small isolation by distance effect for the Harz Mountains was detected, suggesting landscape resistance restricting gene flow. Finally, the differentiation of the very old autochthonous (up to 250 years) stand “Schlossbergfichte” with typical high elevation phenotypes could cohere with the sampling of a relict genepool.
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#### The Tragedy of Forestland Sustainability in Postcolonial Africa: Land Development, Cocoa, and Politics in Côte d’Ivoire ﻿

Sustainability 2018; 10(12): Art. 4611
Tropical countries are often blamed for not managing their natural resources sustainably. But what if overexploitation is inherent in political structures and policies—rooted in foreign colonial order—and is consistently detrimental in the contemporary use of forestlands? This article argues that post-colonial land development policies and related political interests seriously impede the sustainability of forest ecosystems in Côte d’Ivoire. Methodologically, the study builds on a historic contextualisation of forestland use policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Côte d’Ivoire serving as a case study. The results indicate that the increasing development of so-called rent crops clearly follows the historical dynamics of ‘land grabbing’ and a post-colonial agrarian model. This situation benefits agribusiness entrepreneurs and, more recently, sustainability standards. The study discusses the findings based on recent literature and empirical evidence. In conclusion, the post-colonial heritage and the manipulation of the related patterns by elites and policy-makers largely explains the present-day unsustainable forestland conversions in Côte d’Ivoire.
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#### Diffusion limitations and Michaelis–Menten kinetics as drivers of combined temperature and moisture effects on carbon fluxes of mineral soils ﻿

Biogeosciences 2018; 15(16) p.5031-5045
CO2 production in soils responds strongly to changes in temperature and moisture, but the magnitude of such responses at different timescales remains difficult to predict. Knowledge of the mechanisms leading to the often observed interactions in the effects of these drivers on soil CO2 emissions is especially limited. Here we test the ability of different soil carbon models to simulate responses measured in soils incubated at a range of moisture levels and cycled through 5, 20, and 35 C. We applied parameter optimization methods while modifying two structural components of models: (1) the reaction kinetics of decomposition and uptake and (2) the functions relating fluxes to soil moisture. We found that the observed interactive patterns were best simulated by a model using Michaelis–Menten decomposition kinetics combined with diffusion of dissolved carbon (C) and enzymes. In contrast, conventional empirical functions that scale decomposition rates directly were unable to properly simulate the main observed interactions. Our best model was able to explain 87% of the variation in the data. Model simulations revealed a central role of Michaelis– Menten kinetics as a driver of temperature sensitivity variations as well as a decoupling of decomposition and respiration C fluxes in the short and mid-term, with general sensitivities to temperature and moisture being more pronounced for respiration. Sensitivity to different model parameters was highest for those affecting diffusion limitations, followed by activation energies, the Michaelis–Menten constant, and carbon use efficiency. Testing against independent data strongly validated the model (R2 D 0:99) and highlighted the importance of initial soil C pool conditions. Our results demonstrate the importance of model structure and the central role of diffusion and reaction kinetics for simulating and understanding complex dynamics in soil C.
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#### The Abundance of Fungi, Bacteria and Denitrification Genes during Insect Outbreaks in Scots Pine Forests ﻿

Forests 2018; 9(8): Art. 497
Outbreaks of defoliating insects may affect microbial populations in forests and thereby mass balances and ecosystem functioning. Here, we investigated the microbial dynamics in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests during outbreaks of the nun moth (Lymantria monacha L.) and the pine-tree lappet (Dendrolimus pini L.). We used real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to quantify genes that characterize bacterial and fungal abundance and the denitrification processes (nirK, nirS, nosZ clades I and II) in different forest compartments and we analyzed the C and N content of pine needles, insect feces, larvae, vegetation layers, organic layers, and mineral soil horizons. The infestation of the nun moth increased the bacterial abundance on pine needles, in the vegetation layer, and in the upper organic layer, while fungal populations were increased in the vegetation layer and upper organic layer during both outbreaks. In soil, the abundance of nirK increased after insect defoliation, while the C/N ratios decreased. nosZ clades I and II showed variable responses in different soil layers and to different defoliating insects. Our results illustrate changes in the microbial populations in pine forests that were infested by defoliating insects and changes in the chemical soil properties that foster these populations, indicating a genetic potential for increased soil N2O emissions during the defoliation peak of insect outbreak events.
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#### Genetic Variation of European Beech Populations and Their Progeny from Northeast Germany to Southwest Switzerland ﻿

Forests 2018; 9(8): Art. 469
Climate change can adversely affect the growth of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) across its entire distribution range. Therefore, knowledge of the adaptive potential of this species to changing climatic conditions is of foremost importance. Genetic diversity is the basis for adaptation to environmental stress, and the regeneration phase of forests is a key stage affecting genetic diversity. Nevertheless, little is known about the effect of climate change on the genetic diversity of adult trees compared to their progeny. Here, we present genetic diversity data for 24 beech populations ranging from northeast Germany to southwest Switzerland. Potentially adaptive genetic variation was studied using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in candidate genes that are possibly involved in adaptive trait variation. In addition, more than 2000 adult trees and 3000 of their seedlings were genotyped with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to determine selectively neutral genetic diversity and differentiation among populations. All populations showed high SSR and SNP variation, and no differences in genetic diversity were found between adult trees and their offspring. The genetic differentiation between adults and seedlings within the same stands was also insignificant or very low. Therefore, we can conclude tentatively that the transfer of genetic variation among tree generations, currently, is not much affected by climate change, at least in the studied beech populations.
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#### Impact of Non-Timber Forest Product Use on the Tree Community in North-Western Vietnam ﻿

Forests 2018; 9(7): Art. 431
Trees providing non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are valuable forest resources, and their management can support conservation objectives. We analyzed the abundance of tree species providing NTFPs, recognized by local H’mong people, in both the strictly protected core zone and the low-intensity forest use buffer zone in north-western Vietnam. We identified 249 tree species, of which 48% were classified as NTFP species. The abundance of 35% of the NTFP tree species was significantly correlated with footpaths, indicating an influence of human activity. A multiple logistic regression model indicates that using NTFP trees for food, medicine, and root harvesting, increases the probability of an NTFP tree absence in the buffer zone. In contrast, the high density of species, and collections of fruit, leaf, and resin decrease the probability of an NTFP tree absence in the buffer zone. Further assessment with a logistic model indicated that NTFP use has lower impacts on the tree community than timber use. We think that the parameterized models will enable comparisons of different situations and forest types and be particularly helpful in evaluating potential changes in tree communities over time.
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#### Native Plant Diversity and Composition Across a Pinus radiata D.Don Plantation Landscape in South-Central Chile—The Impact of Plantation Age, Logging Roads and Alien Species ﻿

Forests 2018; 9(9): Art. 567
Alien tree plantations are expanding globally with potential negative effects for native biodiversity. We investigated plant species diversity and composition in a Pinus radiata landscape in south-central Chile, a biodiversity hotspot, by sampling understory vegetation in different plantation age classes, along forest roads and in natural forest remnants in order to find effective conservation measures for native biodiversity. Plantations, including different age classes and roadsides, maintained high native species richness at the landscape scale but supported a completely different community composition than natural forests. Thus, natural forest remnants must be conserved as plantations cannot replace them. Certain natural forest species occurred frequently in mature plantations and can represent starting points for retaining natural elements in plantations. Generalist native and alien species benefited from plantation management, mainly in young plantations and along roadsides. Stand maturation and a closed canopy, though, reduced alien species occurrences within plantations. Along roads, shade-tolerant aliens should be monitored and removed as they can potentially invade natural forests. Native species conservation in plantations requires a holistic approach of the full mosaic of land uses including the protection of remaining natural forests, alien species monitoring along roadsides and patches with continuous canopy cover to reduce pressure by alien species.
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#### Conversion of tropical forests to smallholder rubber and oil palm plantations impacts nutrient leaching losses and nutrient retention efficiency in highly weathered soils ﻿

Biogeosciences 2018; 15(16) p.5131-5154
Conversion of forest to rubber and oil palm plantations is widespread in Sumatra, Indonesia, and it is largely unknown how such land-use conversion affects nutrient leaching losses. Our study aimed to quantify nutrient leaching and nutrient retention efficiency in the soil after land-use conversion to smallholder rubber and oil palm plantations. In Jambi province, Indonesia, we selected two landscapes on highly weathered Acrisol soils that mainly differed in texture: loam and clay. Within each soil type, we compared two reference land uses, lowland forest and jungle rubber (defined as rubber trees interspersed in secondary forest), with two converted land uses: smallholder rubber and oil palm plantations. Within each soil type, the first three land uses were represented by 4 replicate sites and the oil palm by three sites, totaling 30 sites. We measured leaching losses using suction cup lysimeters sampled biweekly to monthly from February to December 2013. Forests and jungle rubber had low solute concentrations in drainage water, suggesting low internal inputs of rock-derived nutrients and efficient internal cycling of nutrients. These reference land uses on the clay Acrisol soils had lower leaching of dissolved N and base cations (P D0.01–0.06) and higher N and base cation retention efficiency (P < 0.01–0.07) than those on the loam Acrisols. In the converted land uses, particularly on the loam Acrisol, the fertilized area of oil palm plantations showed higher leaching of dissolved N, organic C, and base cations (P < 0.01–0.08) and lower N and base cation retention efficiency compared to all the other land uses (P < 0.01–0.06). The unfertilized rubber plantations, particularly on the loam Acrisol, showed lower leaching of dissolved P (P D 0:08) and organic C (P < 0.01) compared to forest or jungle rubber, reflecting decreases in soil P stocks and C inputs to the soil. Our results suggest that land-use conversion to rubber and oil palm causes disruption of initially efficient nutrient cycling, which decreases nutrient availability. Over time, smallholders will likely be increasingly reliant on fertilization, with the risk of diminishing water quality due to increased nutrient leaching. Thus, there is a need to develop management practices to minimize leaching while sustaining productivity.
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#### Spatial Distribution of Mucilage in the Rhizosphere Measured With Infrared Spectroscopy ﻿

Frontiers in Environmental Science 2018; 6: Art. 87
Mucilage is receiving increasing attention because of its putative effects on plant growth, but so far no method is available to measure its spatial distribution in the rhizosphere.We tested whether the C-H signal related to mucilage fatty acids is detectable by infrared spectroscopy and if this method can be used to determine the spatial distribution of mucilage in the rhizosphere. Maize plants were grown in rhizoboxes filled with soil free of organic matter. Infrared measurements were carried out along transects perpendicular as well as axially to the root channels. The perpendicular gradients of the C-H proportions showed a decrease of C-H with increasing distance: 0.8mm apart from the root center the C-H signals achieved a level near zero. The measured concentrations of mucilage were comparable with results obtained in previous studies, which encourages the use of infrared spectroscopy to quantitatively image mucilage in the rhizosphere.
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#### Mixed-species versus monocultures in plantation forestry: Development, benefits, ecosystem services and perspectives for the future ﻿

Global Ecology and Conservation 2018; 15
Plantation forests are increasing rapidly in the world in order to alleviate deforestation and degradation of natural forests, along with providing various goods and services. While monoculture plantations have been the dominant type of plantation in practice and well-recorded in research, in the face of intensifying climate change and resource scarcity, there is a growing interest in mixed-species plantations. Agroforestry systems are also catching the attention of foresters, smallholders and landowners. However, there are relatively limited number of studies on successful species mixtures. This paper first reviews the progression of monocultures and mixed-species, followed by the comparisons of advantages, disadvantages and effects on the surrounding natural ecosystems between these two types of plantations. The paper further investigates combinations of species with complementary traits for efficient use of limiting resources associated with improvement in growth development and production of tree species, as well as examining some other challenges in mixed-species. In addition, it is helpful to select and combine tree/crop species in mixtures based on complementary traits that maximise positive and minimise negative interactions and using the advance molecular technologies for genetic analysis. With careful design and proper management, mixed-species plantations with two, three or four species can be more productive and have more advantages in biodiversity, economy and forest health over monocultures. Many researchers are still working on different projects to explore the potential benefits and to promote the applications of mixed-species plantations and agroforestry.
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#### Tree Water Use Patterns as Influenced by Phenology in a Dry Forest of Southern Ecuador ﻿

Frontiers in Plant Science 2018; 9: Art. 945
Tropical dry forests are composed of tree species with different drought coping strategies and encompass heterogeneous site conditions. Actual water use will be controlled by soil moisture availability. In a premontane dry forest of southern Ecuador, tree water use patterns of four tree species of different phenologies were studied along an elevational gradient, in which soil moisture availability increases with altitude. Main interest was the influence of variation in soil moisture, vapor pressure deficit, species (representing phenology), elevation, and tree diameter on water use. Special emphasis was put on the stem succulent, deciduous Ceiba trichistandra, as high water use rates and drought coping involving stem succulence was to be expected. Tree water use rates increased linearly with diameter across species at high soil water content. However, when soil moisture declined, sap flux densities of the species responded differently. The stem succulent, deciduous Ceiba and other deciduous tree species reduced sap flux sensitively, whereas sap flux densities of the evergreen (broad leaved) Capparis scabrida were increasing. This was also reflected in diurnal hysteresis loops of sap flux vs. vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of the air. Under dry soil conditions, Ceiba and other deciduous tree species had much smaller areas in the hysteresis loop, whereas the area of Capparis was largely enhanced compared to wet conditions. The evergreen Capparis potentially had access to deeper soil water resources as water use patterns suggest that top soil drought was tolerated. The deciduous species followed a drought avoidance strategy by being leafless in the dry season. The stem succulent deciduous Ceiba flushed leaves at the end of the dry season before the rainy season began and also re-flushed early in the dry season after a rain event; however, water use rates at this occasion remained low. Ceiba was also ready for fast and strong response in water use when conditions were most favorable during the wet season. The study thus indicates a strong influence of species' drought coping strategy on water use patterns in tropical dry forests.
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#### Complete mitochondrial genome of a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) from Maly Lyakhovsky Island (New Siberian Islands, Russia) and its phylogenetic assessment ﻿

Mitochondrial DNA Part B 2018; 3(2) p.596-598
We present a complete sequence and an annotation of the mitochondrial genome of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) found in 2012 on Maly Lyakhovsky Island (North-Eastern Siberia, Russia). The genome was 16,851 bp long and contained 13 protein-coding, 22 tRNA, and 2 rRNA genes. It was AT reach (61.3%) with A¼32.9%, T¼28.4%, C¼25.3%, and G¼13.4%.
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#### Adapting Chinese Forest Operations to Socio-Economic Developments: What is the Potential of Plantations for Strengthening Domestic Wood Supply? ﻿

Sustainability 2018; 10(4) p.1-19: Art. 1042
Over recent decades, China’s forestry sector went through a transition phase characterized by a management and institutional reform process, with a constant rethinking of the ecological and societal role of forests within a unique political system. Nevertheless, despite impressive achievements in forest restoration and conservation efforts, the enhancement of ecosystem services and forest area expansion through plantation development, China was not able to improve its domestic timber supply capacities according to its demands. Consequently, the continually growing wood processing industry is facing a severe demand-and-supply gap, causing high dependencies on timber imports. Outdated forest operations practices, dominated by manual labour, are not able to meet supply demands or to implement new silvicultural strategies for enhancing forest quality and productivity and are a widely unnoted disruption of a sustainable development. Therefore, this review presents the status quo of China’s forest operations sector, how it is shaped by forest policy reforms and recent socio-economic developments. In addition, suggestions are developed how the sector can progress through policy adaptations in order to develop sustainable timber supply capacities based on a domestic plantation sector.
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#### Wildlife Warning Reflectors' Potential to Mitigate Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions - A Review on the Evaluation Methods ﻿

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 2018; 6 p.1-12: Art. 37
Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) produce considerable costs in road traffic due to human fatalities as well as ecological and economic losses. Multiple mitigation measures have been developed over the past decades to separate traffic and wildlife, to warn humans, or to prevent wildlife from entering roads. Among these, wildlife warning reflectors (WWR) have been frequently implemented, although their effectiveness remains a subject of discussion due to conflicting study results. Here we present a literature review on the effectiveness of WWR for N = 76 studies, including their methodological differences, such as the type of WWR (model and color), study conditions, and study designs. We used boosted regression trees to analyse WVC-data addressed in the literature to compare WWR effectiveness depending on the study design, study conditions, effective study duration, length of the tested sections, time period of the study, data source, reflector type, and animal species. Our analyses revealed no clear evidence for the effectiveness of WWR in preventing WVC. Instead, our meta-analysis showed that most studies indicating significant effects of WWR on the occurrence of WVC may be biased due to insufficiencies in study design and/or the approach of WVC data acquisition. Our computation of log response ratios (LRRWVC) showed that only studies applying a before-after (BA) design concluded that WWR were effective. Moreover, BRT modeling revealed that only studies of <12 months effective study duration and <5 km test site length indicated that WWR might lower WVC. Based on the vulnerability to confounding factors of WWR-study designs applied in the past, this review suggests the standardization of study conditions, including a before-after control-impact (BACI) or a cross-over study design with spatial and temporal control sections, a minimum test site length and a minimum study duration.
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#### Forest Soil Phosphorus Resources and Fertilization Affect Ectomycorrhizal Community Composition, Beech P Uptake Efficiency, and Photosynthesis ﻿

Frontiers in Plant Science 2018; 9 p.1-13: Art. 463
Phosphorus (P) is an important nutrient, whose plant-available form phosphate is often low in natural forest ecosystems. Mycorrhizal fungi mine the soil for P and supply their host with this resource. It is unknown how ectomycorrhizal communities respond to changes in P availability. Here, we used young beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) trees in natural forest soil from a P-rich and P-poor site to investigate the impact of P amendment on soil microbes, mycorrhizas, beech P nutrition, and photosynthesis. We hypothesized that addition of P to forest soil increased P availability, thereby, leading to enhanced microbial biomass and mycorrhizal diversity in P-poor but not in P-rich soil.We expected that P amendment resulted in increased plant P uptake and enhanced photosynthesis in both soil types. Young beech trees with intact soil cores from a P-rich and a P-poor forest were kept in a common garden experiment and supplied once in fall with triple superphosphate. In the following summer, labile P in the organic layer, but not in the mineral top soil, was significantly increased in response to fertilizer treatment. P-rich soil contained higher microbial biomass than P-poor soil. P treatment had no effect on microbial biomass but influenced the mycorrhizal communities in P-poor soil and shifted their composition toward higher similarities to those in P-rich soil. Plant uptake efficiency was negatively correlated with the diversity of mycorrhizal communities and highest for trees in P-poor soil and lowest for fertilized trees. In both soil types, radioactive P tracing (H3 33PO4) revealed preferential aboveground allocation of new P in fertilized trees, resulting in increased bound P in xylem tissue and enhanced soluble P in bark, indicating increased storage and transport. Fertilized beeches from P-poor soil showed a strong increase in leaf P concentrations from deficient to luxurious conditions along with increased photosynthesis. Based on the divergent behavior of beech in P-poor and P-rich forest soil, we conclude that acclimation of beech to low P stocks involves dedicated mycorrhizal community structures, low P reserves in storage tissues and photosynthetic inhibition, while storage and aboveground allocation of additional P occurs regardless of the P nutritional status.
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#### Land-use change in oil palm dominated tropical landscapes-An agent-based model to explore ecological and socio-economic trade-offs. ﻿

PLOS ONE 2018; 13(1): Art. e0190506
Land-use changes have dramatically transformed tropical landscapes. We describe an ecological-economic land-use change model as an integrated, exploratory tool used to analyze how tropical land-use change affects ecological and socio-economic functions. The model analysis seeks to determine what kind of landscape mosaic can improve the ensemble of ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, and economic benefit based on the synergies and trade-offs that we have to account for. More specifically, (1) how do specific ecosystem functions, such as carbon storage, and economic functions, such as household consumption, relate to each other? (2) How do external factors, such as the output prices of crops, affect these relationships? (3) How do these relationships change when production inefficiency differs between smallholder farmers and learning is incorporated? We initialize the ecological-economic model with artificially generated land-use maps parameterized to our study region. The economic sub-model simulates smallholder land-use management decisions based on a profit maximization assumption. Each household determines factor inputs for all household fields and decides on land-use change based on available wealth. The ecological sub-model includes a simple account of carbon sequestration in above-ground and below-ground vegetation. We demonstrate model capabilities with results on household consumption and carbon sequestration from different output price and farming efficiency scenarios. The overall results reveal complex interactions between the economic and ecological spheres. For instance, model scenarios with heterogeneous crop-specific household productivity reveal a comparatively high inertia of land-use change. Our model analysis even shows such an increased temporal stability in landscape composition and carbon stocks of the agricultural area under dynamic price trends. These findings underline the utility of ecological-economic models, such as ours, to act as exploratory tools which can advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the trade-offs and synergies of ecological and economic functions in tropical landscapes.
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#### Morphologic and Chemical Properties of PMMA/ATH Layers with Enhanced Abrasion Resistance Realised by Cold Plasma Spraying at Atmospheric Pressure ﻿

Advances in Condensed Matter Physics 2018; 2018 p.1-11
This study investigated themorphologic and chemical properties of coatings based on PMMA/ATH powder and deposited by cold plasma spraying on wood and glass. Since the deposition of pure PMMA/ATH powder with air as process gas yielded coatings with insufficient abrasion resistance, two modifications of the basic process were investigated. Previous studies showed that replacing air as process gas with forming gas did not enhance the abrasion resistance, but the addition of a phenol-formaldehyde resin (PF) succeeded in stabilising the particle coatings. In thiswork, results frommorphologic and chemical analysis suggestedanencasement of the PMMA/ATH particles by plasma-modified PF and thus a fusion of individual particles, explaining the enhanced bonding. Moreover, adhesion tests confirmed an outstanding bonding between the coating and wood as well as glass, which is assumed to result from interactions between the PF’s hydroxyl groups and functional groups on the substrates’ surfaces. Studies on the wettability revealed a hydrophobic character of such coatings, therefore generally indicating a possible application, for example, to reduce water uptake by wooden materials.
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#### Drought effects on the tissue- and cell-specific cytokinin activity in poplar. ﻿

AoB PLANTS 2018; 10(1) p.1-18: Art. plx067
Climate change with increasing periods of drought is expected to reduce the yield of biomass crops such as poplars. To combat yield loss, it is important to better understand the molecular mechanisms that control growth under drought. Here, the goal was to resolve the drought-induced changes of active cytokinins, a main growth hormone in plants, at the tissue level in different cell types and organs of poplars (Populus×canescens) in comparison with growth, biomass, leaf shedding, photosynthesis and water potential. Since cytokinin response is mediated by type-A response regulators,ARR5::GUSreporter lines were used to map cytokinin activity histochemically. The expression ofPtaRR3andPtaRR10was examined in different stem sections. Young leaves showed strong cytokinin activity in the veins and low staining under drought stress, accompanied by diminished leaf expansion. Leaf scars, at positions where drought-shedding occurred, showed strong reduction of cytokinin activity. The pith in the differentiation zone of stem showed high cytokinin activity with distinct, very active parenchymatic cells and enhanced activity close to primary xylem. This pattern was maintained under drought but the cytokinin activity was reduced. Mature phloem parenchymatic cells showed high cytokinin activity and mature wood showed no detectable cytokinin activity. Cytokinin activity in the cambium was apparent as a clear ring, which faded under drought. Xylem-localized cytokinin activities were also mirrored by the relative expression ofPtaRR3, whereasPtaRR10showed developmental but no drought-induced changes. Primary meristems exhibited high cytokinin activity regardless of drought stress, supporting a function of this phytohormone in meristem maintenance, whereas declining cytokinin activities in apical pith tissues and cambium of drought-stressed poplars linked cytokinin in these cell types with the control of primary and secondary growth processes. Changes in cytokinin activity further imply a role in drought avoidance mechanisms of poplars, especially in the reduction of leaf area.
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#### Changes of Scots Pine Phyllosphere and Soil Fungal Communities during Outbreaks of Defoliating Insects ﻿

Forests 2017; 8(12)
Outbreaks of forest pests increase with climate change, and thereby may affect microbial communities and ecosystem functioning. We investigated the structure of phyllosphere and soil microbial communities during defoliation by the nun moth (Lymantria monacha L.) (80% defoliation) and the pine tree lappet (Dendrolimus pini L.) (50% defoliation) in Scots pine forests (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Germany. Ribosomal RNA genes of fungi and bacteria were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), separated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and subsequently sequenced for taxonomic assignments. Defoliation by both pests changed the structure of the dominant fungal (but not bacterial) taxa of the phyllosphere and the soil. The highly abundant ectomycorrhizal fungal taxon (Russula sp.) in soils declined, which may be attributed to insufficient carbohydrate supply by the host trees and increased root mortality. In contrast, potentially pathogenic fungal taxa in the phyllosphere increased during pest outbreaks. Our results suggest that defoliation of pines by insect pest, change the structure of fungal communities, and thereby indirectly may be contributing to aggravation of tree health.