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Genetic evaluation of Piétrain sires in Flanders occurs under standardized conditions, on test stations with fixed dam breeds, standardized diets and uniform management practices. As environmental conditions vary on commercial farms and differ from the test stations, this study aimed at understanding to what extent the sire, the dam breed and the interaction between both affects the translation of breeding values to practice. Dams of two commercial breeds were inseminated with semen from one of five different sires selected for contrasting breeding values (daily gain, feed conversion ratio and carcass quality). For each sire by dam breed combination, six pen replicates (with three gilts and three barrows per pen) were evaluated for growth performance from 9 weeks of age (20 kg) to slaughter (110 kg), and for carcass and meat quality. In our experimental setup, both sire and dam breed affected growth, carcass and meat quality traits. No significant sire×dam breed interactions on performance could be detected. Though a tendency for interaction on average daily feed intake between 20 and 110 kg (P=0.087), and on pork colour (lightness) (P=0.093) was present. In general, offspring of all tested sires behaved similarly in both dam breeds, indicating that estimated breeding values for Piétrain sires determined in one dam breed are representative in other dam breeds as well.
In this paper we highlight that extreme events such as freak waves are a transient phenomenon in keeping with the old fisherman tale that these extreme events seem to appear out of nowhere. Janssen (J. Phys. Oceanogr., vol. 33, 2003, pp. 863–884) obtained an evolution equation for the ensemble average of the excess kurtosis, which is a measure for the deviation from normality and an indicator for nonlinear focusing resulting in extreme events. In the limit of a narrow-band wave train, whose dynamics is governed by the two-dimensional nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation, the excess kurtosis is under certain conditions seen to grow to a maximum after which it decays to zero for large times. This follows from a numerical solution of the problem and also from an analytical solution presented by Fedele (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 782, 2015, pp. 25–36). The analytical solution is not explicit because it involves an integral from initial time to actual time. We therefore study a number of properties of the integral expression in order to better understand some interesting features of the time-dependent excess kurtosis and the generation of extreme events.