Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 74 num. 6 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Sonic anemometry and sediment traps to evaluate the effectiveness of windbreaks in preventing wind erosion]]> ABSTRACT The present work analyzes the effectiveness of windbreaks against wind erosion through the study of streamline patterns and turbulent flow by means of sonic anemometry and sediment traps. To this end, windbreaks composed of plastic meshes (7.5 m long and 0.7 m tall) were used. Windbreaks are a good means to reduce wind erosion, as they produce a positive effect on the characteristics of air currents that are related to wind erosion processes. Due to their ease of installation and dismantling, plastic meshes are widely used in areas where they are not required permanently. In our study, the use of a mesh of 13 × 30 threads cm−2 and 39 % porosity resulted in an average reduction of 85 % in face velocity at a height of 0.4 m and a distance of 1 m from the windbreak. The turbulence intensity i increased behind the windbreak because the reduction of mean of air speed on the leeside caused by the flow of air through the windbreak. Fluctuation levels, however, remained stable. The mean values of turbulence kinetic energy k decreased by 65 % to 86 % at a distance of 1 m from the windbreak and at a height of 0.4 m. The windbreak reduces erosion and sediment transportation 2 m downwind (2.9 times the windbreak height). Nevertheless, sediment transportation was not reduced at a height of 1.0 m and the effect of the windbreak was not observed at a distance of 6 m downwind (8.6 m times the windbreak height). <![CDATA[Dry matter intake, performance and carcass characteristics of hair sheep reared under different grazing systems]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of three different grazing systems: isolated, alternate and simultaneous, on feed intake, performance and carcass characteristics of sheep. About 5.2 ha area of Tanzania grass (Panicum maximun Jacq cultivate Tanzania) was divided into 13 paddocks. This area was used as a stocking rate of two animal units (AU) per ha for 7 days’ occupation and 21 days rest. A total number of 58 animals were used consisting of 12 heifers and 30 Santa Ines lambs with the addition of 16 adult ewes that were used to stabilize grazing pressure in the isolated system. The sheep were fed on 200 g per head per day of concentrate and cattle 2 kg per head per day. The parameters determined were the following: weekly weight (WW), total live weight gain (LWG) and mean daily weight gain (MDW). Also dry matter intake was estimated 84 days after the start of the experiment using external indicators (Purified and Enriched Lignin) in addition to carcass traits and composition which were also estimated. The result obtained for carcass composition revealed that the muscle:bone ratio and bone percentage were better in the alternate system. Moreover, the simultaneous and isolated systems showed higher lamb performance than the alternate system, while there was no effect on dry matter intake. Furthermore, there was no difference of the different systems on carcass traits and feed intake of sheep. Nevertheless, the simultaneous grazing system showed better sheep performance than the alternate grazing system. <![CDATA[Imputation of genetic composition for missing pedigree data in Serrasalmidae using morphometric data]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to impute the genetic makeup of individual fishes of Serrasalmidae family on the basis of body weight and morphometric measurements. Eighty-three juveniles, belonging to the genetic groups Pacu, Pirapitinga, Tambaqui, Tambacu, Tambatinga, Patinga, Paqui and Piraqui, were separated into 16 water tanks in a recirculation system, with two tanks per genetic group, where they remained until they reached 495 days of age. They were then weighed and analyzed according to the following morphometric parameters: Standard Length (SL), Head Length (HL), Body Height (BH), and Body Width (BW). The identity of each fish was confirmed with two SNPs and two mitochondrial markers. Two analyses were performed: one for the validating the imputation and another for imputing a genetic composition of animals considered to be advanced hybrids (post F1). In both analyses, we used linear mixed models with a mixture of normal distributions to impute the genetic makeup of the fish based on phenotype. We applied the mixed models method, whereby the environmental effects were estimated by the Empirical Best Linear Unbiased Estimator (EBLUE) and genetic effects are considered random, obtaining the Empirical Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (EBLUP) from the general (GCA) and the specific (SCA) combining ability effects. The results showed that validation of the genetic makeup imputation based on body weight can be used because of the strong correlation between the observed and imputed genotype. The fish classified as advanced hybrids had a genetic composition with a high probability of belonging to known genotypes and there was consistency in genotype imputation according to the different characteristics used. <![CDATA[The use of Pedotransfer functions and the estimation of carbon stock in the Central Amazon region]]> ABSTRACT Computer models have been used to assess soil organic carbon (SOC) stock change. Commonly, models require to determine soil bulk density (Db), a variable that is often lacking in soil data bases. To partly overcome this problem, pedotransfer functions (PTFs) are developed to estimate Db from other easily available soil properties. However, only a few studies have determined the accuracy of these functions and quantified their effects on the final quality of the spatial variability maps. In this context, the objectives of this study were: i) to develop one PTF to estimate Db in soils of the Brazilian Central Amazon region; ii) to compare the performance of PTFs generated with three other models generally used to estimate Db in soils of the Amazon region; and iii) to quantify the effect of applying these PTFs on the spatial variability maps of SOC stock. Using data from 96 soil profiles in the Urucu river basin in Brazil, a multiple linear regression model was generated to estimate Db using SOC, pH, sum of basic cations, aluminum (Al+3), and clay content. This model outperformed the three other PTFs published in the literature. The average estimation error of SOC stock using our model was 0.03 Mg C ha−1, which is markedly lower than the other PTFs (1.06 and 1.23 Mg C ha−1, or 15 % and 17 %, respectively). Thus, the application of a non-validated PTF to estimate Db can introduce an error that is large enough to skew the significant difference in soil carbon stock change. <![CDATA[Biochemical and physical kernel properties of a standard maize hybrid in different TopCross™ Blends]]> ABSTRACT A pilot experiment was undertaken in order to examine high oil populations of maize (Zea mays L.) to be used as pollinators in TopCross blends with commercial ZP341 standard hybrid. Five high oil populations (HOPs) from the Maize Research Institute (MRI) gene bank were chosen for this research, according to their high grain oil content, synchrony between silking of ZP341 and anthesis of the populations and good agronomic performances in 2012. Selfing of ZP341 and HOPs, as well as crosses of ZP341 cmsS sterile × HOPs were carried out in 2013. Oil content, fatty acid composition, protein and tryptophan content, and physical characteristics of the obtained kernels were measured. Four HOPs showed significant positive influence on the oil content in the TopCrosses (TC), 16.85 g kg−1 on average. Oleic acid, which is the principal monounsaturated fatty acid, was significantly lower in all HOPs and all TCs, while selfed ZP341 had almost twice the average value typical for standard maize. However, this decrease in TCs was in a narrow range from 1 % (in TC-3) to 5 % (in TC-4) and the oleic content of TCs was on average higher by 60 % compared to the typical standard maize. Different favorable and unfavorable significant changes were detected in fatty acid compositions, protein and tryptophan contents and physical kernel properties for each potential TC combination. Results indicate differences in gene effects present in different TC combinations and underscore the need to examine each potential TC blend by conducting similar simple experiments. <![CDATA[Use of the software <em>Seed Vigor Imaging System</em> (SVIS<sup>®</sup>) for assessing vigor of carrot seeds]]> ABSTRACT Seed vigor has traditionally been evaluated by physiological, biochemical and stress tolerance tests. More recently, with the use of computerized image analysis, objective information has become accessible in a relatively short period of time, with less human interference. The aim of this study was to verify the efficiency of computerized seedling image analysis by Seed Vigor Imaging System (SVIS®) to detect differences in vigor between carrot (Daucus carota L.) seed lots as compared to those provided by traditional vigor tests. Seeds from seven lots from the Brasilia cultivar were subjected to a germination test, first count of germination, speed of germination, accelerated aging with saline solution and seedling emergence; furthermore, a vigor index, growth index and uniformity index were determined by the Seed Vigor Imaging System (SVIS®) during four evaluation periods. The results obtained by the computerized seedling analysis (vigor index and growth index) show that SVIS® is efficient in assessing carrot seed vigor. <![CDATA[Performance of two honey bee subspecies during harsh weather and <em>Acacia gerrardii</em> nectar-rich flow]]> ABSTRACT Both climatic factors and bee forage characteristics affect the population size and productivity of honey bee colonies. To our knowledge, no scientific investigation has as yet considered the potential effect of nectar-rich bee forage exposed to drastic subtropical weather conditions on the performance of honey bee colonies. This study investigated the performance of the honey bee subspecies Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (Yemeni) and Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann (Carniolan) in weather that was hot and dry and in an environment of nectar-rich flora. The brood production, food storage, bee population and honey yield of Yemeni (native) and Carniolan (imported) colonies on Talh trees (Acacia gerrardii Benth.), a nectar-rich, subtropical, and summer bee forage source in Central Arabia were evaluated. Owing to their structural and behavioral adaptations, the Yemeni bees constructed stronger (high population size) colonies than the Carniolan bees. Although both groups yielded similar amounts of Talh honey, the Yemeni bees consumed their stored honey rapidly if not timely harvested. A. m. jemenitica has a higher performance than A. m. carnica during extremely hot-dry conditions and A. gerrardii nectar-rich flow. <![CDATA[Accuracy and simultaneous selection gains for N-stress tolerance and N-use efficiency in maize tropical lines]]> ABSTRACT Maize plants can be N-use efficient or N-stress tolerant. The first have high yields in favorable environments but is drastically affected under stress conditions; whereas the second show satisfactory yields in stressful environments but only moderate ones under optimal conditions. In this context, our aim was to assess the possibility of selecting tropical maize lines that are simultaneously N-stress tolerant and N-use efficient and check for differences between simultaneous selection statistical methods. Sixty-four tropical maize lines were evaluated for Nitrogen Agronomic Efficiency (NAE) and Low Nitrogen Tolerance (LNTI) response indices and two per se selection indices, Low Nitrogen Agronomic Efficiency (LNAE) and Harmonic Mean of Relative Performance (HMRP). We performed eight selection scenarios: LNAE; HMRP; Additive index; Mulamba-Mock index; and Independent culling levels. The last three was predicted by REML/BLUP single-trait and multi-trait using genotypic values of NAE and LNTI. The REML/BLUP multi-trait analysis was superior to the single-trait analysis due to high unfavorable correlation between NAE and LNTI. However, the accuracy and genotypic determination coefficient of NAE and LNTI were too low. Thus, neither single- nor multi-trait analysis achieved a good result for simultaneous selection nor N-use efficiency nor N-stress tolerance. LNAE obtained satisfactorily accurate values and genotypic determination coefficient, but its performance in selection gain was worse than HMRP, particularly in terms of N-use efficiency. Therefore, because of the superior performance in accuracy, genotypic determination coefficient and selection, HMRP was considered the best simultaneous selection methodology of the scenarios tested for N-use efficiency and N-stress tolerance. <![CDATA[<em>Drosophila suzukii</em> (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in Peaches: is it a problem?]]> ABSTRACT Healthy peach fruit is not considered a preferred host for Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura); however, it becomes a more preferable host when damaged. Thus, damaged peach fruit is of importance not only in terms of economic losses, but also because it serves as a reservoir for this fly species. This work aimed to evaluate the suitability of peaches mechanically damaged or harboring the brown rot disease as hosts for D. suzukii compared to hosts for which they have a low (undamaged peach) and high (undamaged strawberry) preference. Damaged peaches were as susceptible as undamaged strawberries. Fungus infection alone did not increase the susceptibility of peaches compared to undamaged peaches. This information should be considered when an Integrated Pest Management program is defined in a scenario of different species of fruit production. <![CDATA[First report of <em>Hypsipyla grandella</em> (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) on African mahogany <em>Khaya ivorensis</em>]]> ABSTRACT The mahogany shoot borer Hypsipyla grandella Zeller is an important economic pest in all American tropical forests, because it prevents monoculture of valuable timber trees species like mahogany and cedar. The shoot borer damages several tree structures, especially the apical shoots, impairing the formation of the commercial stem. This pest can attack the plants during the year and one larva per plant is enough to cause significant damage. In infested areas, the attack can reach up to 100 % of the trees. The Australian cedar and African mahogany have been cultivated in Brazil for timber production, because they are considered resistant to H. grandella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) attack. However, in this work we report for the first time the H. grandella attack to African mahogany Khaya ivorensis.