Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 516596
Title Effects of weather variability and geese on population dynamics of large herbivores creating opportunities for wood-pasture cycles : A modelling approach
Author(s) Kramer, K.; Cornelissen, P.; Groot Bruinderink, G.W.T.A.; Kuiters, A.T.; Lammertsma, D.R.; Vulink, J.T.; Wieren, S.E. van; Prins, H.H.T.
Source In: Large herbivores as a driving force of woodland-grassland cycles / Cornelissen, Perry, Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430159 - p. 109 - 123.
Department(s) Alterra - Vegetation, forest and landscape ecology
Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Alterra - Animal ecology
Resource Ecology
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2017
Abstract (chapter 7 of PhD thesis)
Coexistence of large herbivores and vegetation heterogeneity is a challenge for managers of relatively small and homogeneous nature reserves in fragmented landscapes. A modelling analysis was performed to study if observed variability in weather conditions would be of sufficient magnitude to maintain long-term coexistence of large herbivore species, and to provide windows of opportunity for the establishment of thorny shrubs as predicted by the wood-pasture hypothesis. The study was applied to the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands, which has a large herbivore assemblage of Heck cattle, Konik horse and red deer. Owing to the fact that a large number of geese frequent the nature reserve, the effects of these small herbivores were taken into account in the model analyses. The results showed that weather variability increases population fluctuations and that geese reduce large herbivore numbers. The results also indicated that coexistence of the three large herbivore species is possible irrespective of weather variability and geese. However, the chances for the coexistence of cattle with the other large herbivores are reduced when weather is highly variable and geese numbers are high. If the management of large nature reserves aims at natural processes with assemblages of self-regulating large herbivore populations, our results show that weather variability and the presence of small competing herbivores may be essential factors in highly productive environments for the wood-pasture cycle creating a more heterogeneous landscape.
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