Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    '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.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Current refinement(s):

Records 1 - 20 / 29

  • help
  • print

    Print search results

  • export

    Export search results

  • alert
    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Conservation
Check title to add to marked list
Movement patterns of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in a Semi-arid Savanna suggest that they have information on the location of dispersed water sources
Wato, Yussuf A. ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Heitkönig, Ignas M.A. ; Wahungu, Geoffrey M. ; Ngene, Shadrack M. ; Njumbi, Steve ; Langevelde, Frank van - \ 2018
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6 (2018)OCT. - ISSN 2296-701X
Conservation - Directionality - Movement - Savanna - Step length - Tsavo - Wildlife

Water is a scarce resource in semi-arid savannas where over half of the African elephants (Loxodonta africana) populations occur and may therefore influence their movement pattern. A random search is expected for an animal with no information on the location of the target resource, else, a direction-oriented walk is expected. We hypothesized that elephants movement patterns show a stronger directional orientation toward water sources in the dry season compared to the wet season. We investigated the movement paths of four male and four female elephants with hourly GPS fixes in Tsavo National Park, Kenya in 2012-2013. Consistent with our predictions, the movement paths of elephants had longer step lengths, longer squared net displacements, and were directed toward water sources in the dry season as compared to the wet season. We argue that African elephants know the location of dispersed water resources, enabling them to survive with scarce resources in dry savannas. These results can be used in conservation and management of wildlife, through for instance, protection of preferred water sources.

Effects of ecological and anthropogenic factors on waterbird abundance at a Ramsar Site in the Yangtze River Floodplain
Zhang, Yong ; Fox, Anthony D. ; Cao, Lei ; Jia, Qiang ; Lu, Changhu ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Boer, Willem F. de - \ 2018
Ambio (2018). - ISSN 0044-7447 - 11 p.
Conservation - Feeding guilds - Waterbirds - Wetland management - Yangtze Wetlands

Continuing declines in abundance of many waterbird species on wetland ecosystems require explanations to support effective management interventions. We used 6 year survey data from Shengjin Lake National Nature Reserve in the Yangtze River Floodplain, China, to study the effects of ecological and anthropogenic variables as determinants of waterbird species abundance. Our results showed that effects were guild-dependent, although distance to nearest human settlements had the largest adverse effects on bird abundance across all guilds. These results suggested that although the abundance of waterbird species could be affected by habitat conditions and buffalo grazing activities, Yangtze River Wetlands would most likely benefit most from reduced pressure from the proximity to the surrounding human population. We suggest that screening and/or restricting public access at some key sites may be the most cost-efficient way to restrict or reduce human activity in these wetlands, to improve the conservation status and wintering conditions for these waterbirds.

Ethnobotany of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán : Climate change and conservation strategies in the Colombian Andes
Rodríguez, Mireia Alcántara ; Angueyra, Andrea ; Cleef, Antoine M. ; Andel, Tinde van - \ 2018
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 14 (2018). - ISSN 1746-4269
Alpine ecosystems - Campesinos - Climate change - Colombia - Conservation - Local perceptions - Páramos - Sierra Nevada del Cocuy - Useful plants
Background: The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán in the Colombian Andes is protected as a National Natural Park since 1977 because of its fragile páramo ecosystems, extraordinary biodiversity, high plant endemism, and function as water reservoir. The vegetation on this mountain is threatened by expanding agriculture, deforestation, tourism, and climate change. We present an ethnobotanical inventory among local farmer communities and discuss the effects of vegetation change on the availability of useful plants. Methods: We used 76 semi-structured, 4 in-depth interviews, and 247 botanical collections to record the ethnoflora of the farmers and surveyed from the high Andean forest to the super-páramo, including native and introduced species. We organized 3 participative workshops with local children, high school students, and campesinos' women to share the data we acquired in the field and empower local plant conservation awareness. Results: We encountered 174 useful plants, most of them native to the area (68%) and almost one third introduced (32%). The Compositae was the most species-rich family, followed by Lamiaceae, Poaceae, and Rosaceae. The majority of plant species were used as medicine, followed by food, firewood, and domestic tools. Local farmers reported declining numbers of páramo species, which were now only found at higher altitudes than before. Although our informants were worried about the preservation of their natural resources and noticed the effects of climate change, for several commercial species, unsustainable land use and overharvesting seemed to be the direct cause of declining medicinal plant resources rather than climate change. Conclusions: We recommend conservation plans that include vegetation monitoring, people's perceptions on climate change, and participative actions with the communities of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán.
License to Kill : Contesting the Legitimacy of Green Violence
Fletcher, Robert - \ 2018
Conservation and Society 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 147 - 156.
biopower - Conservation - environmentalism - green wars - protected areas - the state - violence
The predominant focus within the growing body of research addressing 'green violence' - that employed in the name of protecting nonhuman natures - has been the exercise of such violence by representatives of nation-state regimes. Largely overlooked thus far, therefore, is a remarkably similar discussion conducted among civil society environmental activists, who have long debated the legitimacy of employing analogous forms of violence in their own defense of 'nature.' Juxtaposing these two discussions, this article explores how green violence has been discussed and contested among state and non-state actors, respectively. At stake in this discussion is the essential question of when, and by whom, green violence can be legitimately exercised. This question, in turn, raises the related question of who can legitimately employ 'biopower' when both state and non-state actors commonly justify green violence with quite similar claims to be acting in defense of imperiled forms of nonhuman life. In addressing these questions, this analysis suggests that we may need to rethink how biopower is being mobilised in the contemporary world wherein the nation-state political order is increasingly challenged by manifold forces while environmental concerns have at the same time come to be seen as one of the principle security threats to states, their subjects, as well as life as a whole.
Jellyfish lakes at misool islands, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia
Purba, Gandi Y.S. ; Haryono, Eko ; Sunarto, ; Manan, Jemmy ; Rumenta, Lukas ; Purwanto, ; Becking, Leontine E. - \ 2018
Biodiversitas 19 (2018)1. - ISSN 1412-033X - p. 172 - 182.
Anchialine Lake - Conservation - Jellyfish - Marine Lakes - Mastigias papua - Papua

Misool Islands, located in southern Raja Ampat in West Papua, has dozens of anchihaline lakes (marine lakes). Three of these lakes, Lenmakana, Karawapop, and Keramat, house populations of jellyfish. This study mapped and described the characteristics of the three ‘jellyfish lakes’ during field surveys in October 2015 and May 2016. The lakes ranged in area from 0.5−3.2 hectares. All three lakes harbored Mastigias papua, Lenmakana and Keramat lakes also harbored Aurelia sp., and Keramat had a third jellyfish species Cassiopea ornata. However, at Karawapop the jellyfish were not found on the water surface during the first round of field work because of effects associated with the El Niño phenomenon at that time. As a result of the El Niño effect, at Keramat, brown Mastigias became white in May 2016. The three lakes have different tidal delays (30−120 min) and dampened tidal amplitude (62%) compared to the sea. The benthos was found to be dominated by bivalves (Brachidontes sp.), algae (Cladophora sp., or Halimeda sp.) and sponges (predominantly Haliclona spp. and Tethya spp.). In addition, species of the family Synaptidae (Holothuroidea) were abundant and spread over almost all the bottom of Karawapop Lake, while tube-worms of the Polychaeta class were identified in Keramat Lake. Although these lakes are identified as a conservation area, currently there is no management activity in Lenmakana and Karawapop Lakes, despite the fact that the lakes are growing in popularity as a tourist site. Our paper provides the baseline data for future conservation efforts.

Wild native trees in tropical homegardens of Southeast Mexico : Fostered by fragmentation, mediated by management
Rooduijn, Bastiaan ; Bongers, Frans ; Wal, Hans van der - \ 2018
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 254 (2018). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 149 - 161.
Conservation - Homegardens - Human-environment interactions - Landscape fragmentation - Plant diversity - Tree utilization
Tropical homegardens (THGs) are a model system for rural development that may reconcile food production with social resilience and biodiversity conservation, particularly in rapidly changing landscapes. This study quantified the sink function of THGs for wild native trees in relation to tree cover fragmentation, garden management and household socio-economics. Abundance, richness and diversity of naturally established spared native trees were recorded for 59 rural THGs in Southeast Mexico, along a gradient of tree cover fragmentation. The majority of native species and individuals encountered in THGs had arrived naturally. Contrary to previous work, both the abundance and diversity of spared native trees increased with tree cover fragmentation. However, this sink function was strongly mediated by the type of garden management: lush, multi-layered gardens and gardens with few exotics and low labour input had more spared native trees of more species, while simple-structured gardens and gardens with high labour input and many exotic fruits had only few. Overall, the results indicate that tree cover fragmentation determines which species come in, and management determines how many of each stay. Our results clearly demonstrate that THGs are crucial sinks for wild native trees in deforested fragmented landscapes. THGs are ubiquitous, and could also be key sources for reforestation; here we coin homegarden-based natural regeneration as a new concept. Since garden management has a clear impact, further research is needed as to how socio-economic, cultural and ecological functions of THGs can be optimised in different landscape contexts.
Moving beyond the human–nature dichotomy through biocultural approaches : Including ecological well-being in resilience indicators
Caillon, Sophie ; Cullman, Georgina ; Verschuuren, Bas ; Sterling, Eleanor J. - \ 2017
Ecology and Society 22 (2017)4. - ISSN 1708-3087
Biocultural approach - Conservation - Culture - Ecological well-being - Human well-being - Indicator - Indigenous peoples and local communities - Nature - Ontology - Resilience - Traditional ecological knowledge
Diverse and productive ecosystems and human well-being are too often considered opposing targets. This stems mainly from nature being perceived as separate from culture, which results in resilience indicators that focus predominantly on either ecosystems or humans, and that overlook the interplay between the two. Meanwhile, global targets for biodiversity conservation and human well-being have yet to be satisfactorily achieved. We believe that in order to develop effective, culturally appropriate, and equitable conservation strategies that ensure social-ecological resilience, conservation planners and practitioners must conceive of human and ecological well-beings as an interrelated system. By giving nature a voice, and by viewing nature and people as an undifferentiated whole, some indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC) have philosophical bases for achieving well-being for both humans and nature. Biocultural approaches to conservation ground management in local knowledges, practices, and ontologies. These approaches encompass both the biological and cultural aspects of a system, address complex relationships and feedbacks within human and ecological well-being, and offer flexible frameworks that facilitate synthesis across different metrics, knowledge systems, and ontologies. The process of developing indicators of resilience with a biocultural approach could help (1) overcome the human–nature dichotomy that often makes global approaches incompatible with local approaches by integrating local peoples’ diverse forms of relating to nature, (2) reflect two-way feedbacks between people and their environment by focusing on processes, not just final states, and (3) define, measure, and monitor ecological and human well-being as a whole. It can also facilitate dialog between IPLCs and global decision-makers who are disconnected from local realities, and between people from a diversity of disciplinary, ontological, and professional backgrounds.
Isolation by oceanic distance and spatial genetic structure in an overharvested international fishery
Truelove, Nathan K. ; Box, Stephen J. ; Aiken, Karl A. ; Blythe-Mallett, Azra ; Boman, Erik M. ; Booker, Catherine J. ; Byfield, Tamsen T. ; Cox, Courtney E. ; Davis, Martha H. ; Delgado, Gabriel A. ; Glazer, Bob A. ; Griffiths, Sarah M. ; Kitson-Walters, Kimani ; Kough, Andy S. ; Pérez Enríquez, Ricardo ; Preziosi, Richard F. ; Roy, Marcia E. ; Segura-García, Iris ; Webber, Mona K. ; Stoner, Allan W. - \ 2017
Diversity and Distributions 23 (2017)11. - ISSN 1366-9516 - p. 1292 - 1300.
Connectivity - Conservation - Dispersal - Fisheries - Genetics - Spatial

Aim: A detailed understanding of spatial genetic structure (SGS) and the factors driving contemporary patterns of gene flow and genetic diversity are fundamental for developing conservation and management plans for marine fisheries. We performed a detailed study of SGS and genetic diversity throughout the overharvested queen conch (Lobatus gigas) fishery. Caribbean countries were presented as major populations to examine transboundary patterns of population differentiation. Location: Nineteen locations in the greater Caribbean from Anguilla, the Bahamas, Belize, Caribbean Netherlands, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, and the USA. Methods: We genotyped 643 individuals with nine microsatellites. Population genetic and multivariate analyses characterized SGS. We tested the alternate hypotheses: (1) SGS is randomly distributed in space or (2) pairwise genetic structure among sites is correlated with oceanic distance (IBOD). Results: Our study found that L. gigas does not form a single panmictic population in the greater Caribbean. Significant levels of genetic differentiation were identified between Caribbean countries (FCT = 0.011; p = .0001), within Caribbean countries (FSC = 0.003; p = .001), and among sites irrespective of geographic location (FST = 0.013; p = .0001). Gene flow across the greater Caribbean was constrained by oceanic distance (p = .0009; Mantel r = .40), which acted to isolate local populations. Main conclusions: Gene flow over the spatial scale of the entire Caribbean basin is constrained by oceanic distance, which may impede the natural recovery of overfished L. gigas populations. Our results suggest a careful blend of local and international management will be required to ensure long-term sustainability for the species.

Ecological determinants of butterfly vulnerability across the European continent
Essens, Tijl ; Langevelde, Frank van; Vos, Rutger A. ; Swaay, Chris A.M. van; Wallis de Vries, Michiel - \ 2017
Journal of Insect Conservation 21 (2017)3. - ISSN 1366-638X - p. 439 - 450.
Butterflies - Conservation - Life-history traits - Phylogeny - Red List - Vulnerability

In drawing up Red Lists, the extinction risks of butterflies and other insects are currently assessed mainly by using information on trends in distribution and abundance. Incorporating information on species traits may increase our ability to predict species responses to environmental change and, hence, their vulnerability. We summarized ecologically relevant life-history and climatic niche traits in principal components, and used these to explain the variation in five vulnerability indicators (Red List status, Endemicity, Range size, Habitat specialisation index, Affinity for natural habitats) for 397 European butterfly species out of 482 species present in Europe. We also evaluated a selection of 238 species to test whether phylogenetic correction affected these relationships. For all but the affinity for natural habitats, climatic niche traits predicted more variation in vulnerability than life-history traits; phylogenetic correction had no relevant influence on the findings. The life-history trait component reflecting mobility, development rate, and overwintering stage, proved the major non-climatic determinant of species vulnerability. We propose that this trait component offers a preferable alternative to the frequently used, but ecologically confusing generalist-specialist continuum. Our analysis contributes to the development of trait-based approaches to prioritise vulnerable species for conservation at a European scale. Further regional scale analyses are recommended to improve our understanding of the biological basis of species vulnerability.

Rural development and the role of game farming in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Pasmans, Thijs ; Hebinck, Paul - \ 2017
Land Use Policy 64 (2017). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 440 - 450.
Conservation - Land use - Reassembling - Rural development game farming - Space - Trophyhunting

The analysis of game farming is set in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Game farming reorders the use, meaning and value of land and animal species. However, what it means for rural development processes in the immediate region and beyond is not well accounted for. We perceive game farming as an assemblage that brings together new actors, new forms of land use and new discourses. We argue that although game farming has generated new opportunities and new forms of added value to the available resources (e.g. eco-tourism, trophy hunting, game-meat production), situated in the history and contemporary context of the Eastern Cape, it is a contested, and from a development point of view, problematic land-use practice. We argue that game farming constrains land and agrarian reforms: the distribution of land and income remains skewed; ‘poaching’ occurs and game farms do not, or only minimally, generate new and badly needed employment opportunities. The game farm has emerged as an exclusive, globally well-connected space. The nature of the relationships this space maintains with the surrounding communities is, however, such that the overall contribution to rural development in South Africa is questionable.

Natural regeneration of tree species in the Eastern Amazon : Short-term responses after reduced-impact logging
Schwartz, Gustavo ; Falkowski, Vanessa ; Peña-Claros, Marielos - \ 2017
Forest Ecology and Management 385 (2017). - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 97 - 103.
Canopy gaps - Conservation - Polycyclic silvicultural systems - Silvicultural treatments

Forest management for timber production has improved in tropical forests with the adoption of a polycyclic silvicultural system (PSS) where harvesting is carried out using reduced-impact logging (RIL). In this study, the natural regeneration of forests harvested under RIL restrictions was assessed in three different sites of the Eastern Amazon two years after logging. A total of 7987 seedlings and saplings belonging to 197 species were sampled through 951 plots of 2 × 2 m in 11 different natural and logging created environments. Light-demanding commercial species presented their highest density in logging environments such as logging gaps, skid trails, and borders of log decks. Shade-tolerant commercial species were more common in natural and logging gaps. Regarding the densities of harvested species in the three study sites, only 26.3% were represented by ⩾5 individuals and 28.1% were completely absent in the surveys two years after logging. These results suggest a lack of natural regeneration of the current commercial tree species in the Eastern Amazon. Therefore, post-harvesting silvicultural treatments as enrichment planting and the tending of the natural regeneration in logging gaps should be applied to ensure the regeneration of these species.

Microsatellite diversity of the Nordic type of goats in relation to breed conservation : How relevant is pure ancestry?
Lenstra, J.A. ; Tigchelaar, J. ; Biebach, I. ; Hallsson, J.H. ; Kantanen, J. ; Nielsen, V.H. ; Pompanon, F. ; Naderi, S. ; Rezaei, H.R. ; Sæther, N. ; Ertugrul, O. ; Grossen, C. ; Camenisch, G. ; Vos-Loohuis, M. ; Straten, M. van; Poel, E.A. de; Windig, J. ; Oldenbroek, K. - \ 2017
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 134 (2017)1. - ISSN 0931-2668 - p. 78 - 84.
Conservation - Diversity - Goats - Microsatellite

In the last decades, several endangered breeds of livestock species have been re-established effectively. However, the successful revival of the Dutch and Danish Landrace goats involved crossing with exotic breeds and the ancestry of the current populations is therefore not clear. We have generated genotypes for 27 FAO-recommended microsatellites of these landraces and three phenotypically similar Nordic-type landraces and compared these breeds with central European, Mediterranean and south-west Asian goats. We found decreasing levels of genetic diversity with increasing distance from the south-west Asian domestication site with a south-east-to-north-west cline that is clearly steeper than the Mediterranean east-to-west cline. In terms of genetic diversity, the Dutch Landrace comes next to the isolated Icelandic breed, which has an extremely low diversity. The Norwegian coastal goat and the Finnish and Icelandic landraces are clearly related. It appears that by a combination of mixed origin and a population bottleneck, the Dutch and Danish Land-races are separated from the other breeds. However, the current Dutch and Danish populations with the multicoloured and long-horned appearance effectively substitute for the original breed, illustrating that for conservation of cultural heritage, the phenotype of a breed is more relevant than pure ancestry and the genetic diversity of the original breed. More in general, we propose that for conservation, the retention of genetic diversity of an original breed and of the visual phenotype by which the breed is recognized and defined needs to be considered separately.

Conservation priorities for the different lines of Dutch Red and White Friesian cattle change when relationships with other breeds are taken into account
Hulsegge, B. ; Calus, M.P.L. ; Oldenbroek, J.K. ; Windig, J.J. - \ 2017
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 134 (2017)1. - ISSN 0931-2668 - p. 69 - 77.
Conservation - Genetic diversity - Population structure - Relationships with other breeds

From a genetic point of view, the selection of breeds and animals within breeds for conservation in a national gene pool can be based on a maximum diversity strategy. This implies that priority is given to conservation of breeds and animals that diverge most and overlap of conserved diversity is minimized. This study investigated the genetic diversity in the Dutch Red and White Friesian (DFR) cattle breed and its contribution to the total genetic diversity in the pool of the Dutch dairy breeds. All Dutch cattle breeds are clearly distinct, except for Dutch Friesian breed (DF) and DFR and have their own specific genetic identity. DFR has a small but unique contribution to the total genetic diversity of Dutch cattle breeds and is closely related to the Dutch Friesian breed. Seven different lines are distinguished within the DFR breed and all contribute to the diversity of the DFR breed. Two lines show the largest contributions to the genetic diversity in DFR. One of these lines comprises unique diversity both within the breed and across all cattle breeds. The other line comprises unique diversity for the DFR but overlaps with the Holstein Friesian breed. There seems to be no necessity to conserve the other five lines separately, because their level of differentiation is very low. This study illustrates that, when taking conservation decisions for a breed, it is worthwhile to take into account the population structure of the breed itself and the relationships with other breeds.

Conservation and development 2.0 : Intensifications and disjunctures in the politics of online 'do-good' platforms
Büscher, Bram - \ 2017
Geoforum 79 (2017). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 163 - 173.
Conservation - Development - Nature 2.0 - New media - Online activism - Web 2.0

An increasing amount of interactive '2.0' crowdsourcing platforms raise awareness and funds for conservation and development projects worldwide. By enabling two-way online collaboration and communication, these 'conservation and development 2.0' platforms hoped to provide new impetus and popular legitimacy for conservation and development initiatives in the face of budget cuts and general criticism of the 'formal' aid sector after the financial crisis. This paper presents the case of the flagship 'elephant corridor' project on the Dutch pifworld.com platform to investigate whether and how the '2.0' element has changed conservation and development in line with these expectations. The paper describes and analyses online and offline dynamics of the project and shows that while online excitement about the project remained high, the concomitant conservation and development promises and imaginations ill related to offline local realities. This rather 'traditional' conservation and development disjuncture, however, needs to be understood against the system peculiarities of the politics of online 'do-good' 2.0 platforms. The paper concludes that as these peculiarities are significantly intensifying and changing conservation and development dynamics, they do not elude familiar (1.0) disjunctures and might even obscure these further from sight.

Gaming conservation : Nature 2.0 confronts nature-deficit disorder
Fletcher, Robert - \ 2017
Geoforum 79 (2017). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 153 - 162.
Conservation - Digital games - Environmental education - Nature 2.0 - Nature-deficit disorder - Neoliberalism - Tropical rainforest

This article explores the role of digital (video and computer) games in the rise of what Büscher (2014) calls "nature 2.0": new web-related media that allow users to move beyond passive voyeurism to actively "co-create" or "prosume" the images and processes promoted by organizations committed to biodiversity conservation. Environmentalists have long expressed concern that increasing mediation of human-nonhuman interactions by electronic technology is contributing to a growing "nature-deficit disorder" (NDD) and thereby diminishing support for conservation. This concern would seem to implicate the electronic media comprising nature 2.0 as well, yet digital games are increasingly promoted by environmental organizations precisely for their potential to overcome this very problem. In this paper, I explore to what extent this aspiration is warranted by analyzing digital games devoted to issues of tropical rainforest conservation. In support of proponents' aspirations and contra the NDD thesis, I suggest that the virtual nature experiences digital games provide may at times actually inspire more affective commitment to environmental causes than the direct experiences most conservationists advocate. On the other hand, as critics of overarching new media assert, engagement with digital games can create a false sense of agency in that belief in the efficacy of one's virtual engagement may discourage more direct entanglement in the complicated and contentious politics of "real" natural resource management. The result, I propose, is a likelihood that digital games will increase the widely documented "environmental values-behavior gap" between professed commitment to environmental causes and effective action in support of such causes.

Herbivory on freshwater and marine macrophytes : A review and perspective
Bakker, Elisabeth S. ; Wood, Kevin A. ; Pagès, Jordi F. ; Veen, G.F. ; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A. ; Santamaría, Luis ; Nolet, Bart A. ; Hilt, Sabine - \ 2016
Aquatic Botany 135 (2016). - ISSN 0304-3770 - p. 18 - 36.
Climate change - Conservation - Ecosystem functions - Grazing - Seagrass - Stoichiometry
Until the 1990s, herbivory on aquatic vascular plants was considered to be of minor importance, and the predominant view was that freshwater and marine macrophytes did not take part in the food web: their primary fate was the detritivorous pathway. In the last 25 years, a substantial body of evidence has developed that shows that herbivory is an important factor in the ecology of vascular macrophytes across freshwater and marine habitats. Herbivores remove on average 40–48% of plant biomass in freshwater and marine ecosystems, which is typically 5–10 times greater than reported for terrestrial ecosystems. This may be explained by the lower C:N stoichiometry found in submerged plants. Herbivores affect plant abundance and species composition by grazing and bioturbation and therewith alter the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, including biogeochemical cycling, carbon stocks and primary production, transport of nutrients and propagules across ecosystem boundaries, habitat for other organisms and the level of shoreline protection by macrophyte beds. With ongoing global environmental change, herbivore impacts are predicted to increase. There are pressing needs to improve our management of undesirable herbivore impacts on macrophytes (e.g. leading to an ecosystem collapse), and the conflicts between people associated with the impacts of charismatic mega-herbivores. While simultaneously, the long-term future of maintaining both viable herbivore populations and plant beds should be addressed, as both belong in complete ecosystems and have co-evolved in these long before the increasing influence of man. Better integration of the freshwater, marine, and terrestrial herbivory literatures would greatly benefit future research efforts.
The Khwe of Namibia. Foragers between game, tourism, and politics
Koot, Stasja ; Beek, Walter Van; Diemer, Jeroen - \ 2016
Anthropos 111 (2016)2. - ISSN 0257-9774 - p. 497 - 511.
Bushmen - Conservation - Dwelling - Namibia - Tourism

The Namibian Khwe Bushmen live in the Bwabwata National Park, where they are highly affected by the park's history and conservation activities. Following Ingold's dwelling perspective, the world comes into being because a person is continuously interacting with his/her environment. This contrasted with building, in which (wo)man constructs the world cognitively before (s)he can live in it. We apply a third notion, lodging, to refer to a situation in which people live in an essentially foreign environment. In this, many changes in the environment of the Khwe are triggered beyond their control, instead of through their interaction with their environment.

Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification and characterization in a non-model organism, the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), using next generation sequencing
Smitz, Nathalie ; Hooft, Pim van; Heller, Rasmus ; Cornélis, Daniel ; Chardonnet, Philippe ; Kraus, Robert ; Greyling, Ben ; Crooijmans, Richard ; Groenen, Martien ; Michaux, Johan - \ 2016
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 81 (2016)6. - ISSN 1616-5047 - p. 595 - 603.
Conservation - Disease ecology - Molecular markers - Population genomics

This study aimed to develop a set of SNP markers with high resolution and accuracy within the African buffalo. Such a set can be used, among others, to depict subtle population genetic structure for a better understanding of buffalo population dynamics. In total, 18.5 million DNA sequences of 76 bp were generated by next generation sequencing on an Illumina Genome Analyzer II from a reduced representation library using DNA from a panel of 13 African buffalo representative of the four subspecies. We identified 2534 SNPs with high confidence within the panel by aligning the short sequences to the cattle genome (Bos taurus). The average sequencing depth of the complete aligned set of reads was estimated at 5x, and at 13x when only considering the final set of putative SNPs that passed the filtering criterion. Our set of SNPs was validated by PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing of 15 SNPs. Of these 15 SNPs, 14 amplified successfully and 13 were shown to be polymorphic (success rate: 87%). The fidelity of the identified set of SNPs and potential future applications are finally discussed.

Heading south or north: novel insights on European silver eel Anguilla anguilla migration in the North Sea : Novel insights on European silver eel Anguilla anguilla migration in the North Sea
Huisman, Jeroen ; Verhelst, Pieterjan ; Verhelst, Pieterjan ; Deneudt, K. ; Goethals, Peter ; Moens, Tom ; Nagelkerke, Leopold A.J. ; Nolting, Carsten ; Reubens, Jan ; Schollema, Peter Paul ; Winter, Hendrik V. ; Mouton, Ans - \ 2016
Marine Ecology Progress Series 554 (2016). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 257 - 262.
Conservation - European eel - Marine migration - Telemetry

The European eel Anguilla anguilla L. is a critically endangered fish species that migrates from coastal and freshwater habitats to the Sargasso Sea to spawn. However, the exact migration routes and destination of European eel are still unknown. We are the first to observe southward migrating silver eels in the North Sea. Eels were tagged with acoustic transmitters in 3 different river catchments in Western Europe and swam to the Dutch-Belgian coastal zone during their spawning migration. Therefore, at least part of the Western European population of eels migrates towards the English Channel, in contrast with the Nordic migration route hypothesis. This different migratory route may affect the energy reserve available for spawning and therefore the contribution of these eels to the population. As such, increasing our knowledge of marine eel migrations contributes to the goal of achieving sustainable eel stock management.

Seasonal habitat-based density models for a marine top predator, the harbor porpoise, in a dynamic environment
Gilles, A. ; Viquerat, S. ; Becker, E.A. ; Forney, K.A. ; Geelhoed, S.C.V. ; Haelters, J. ; Nabe-Nielsen, J. ; Scheidat, M. ; Siebert, U. ; Sveegaard, S. ; Beest, F.M. Van; Bemmelen, R. Van; Aarts, G. - \ 2016
Ecosphere 7 (2016)6. - ISSN 2150-8925
Aerial surveys - Conservation - Generalized additive model - Harbor porpoise - Marine mammals - Marine spatial planning - North Sea - Species distribution modeling - Top predator

Effective species conservation and management requires information on species distribution patterns, which is challenging for highly mobile and cryptic species that may be subject to multiple anthropogenic stressors across international boundaries. Understanding species-habitat relationships can improve the assessment of trends and distribution by explicitly allowing high-resolution data on habitats to inform abundance estimation and the identification of protected areas. In this study, we aggregated an unprecedented set of survey data of a marine top predator, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), collected in the UK (SCANS II, Dogger Bank), Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, to develop seasonal habitat-based density models for the central and southern North Sea. Visual survey data were collected over 9 yr (2005-2013) by means of dedicated line-transect surveys, taking into account the proportion of missed sightings. Generalized additive models of porpoise density were fitted to 156,630 km of on-effort survey data with 14,356 sightings of porpoise groups. Selected predictors included static and dynamic variables, such as depth, distance to shore and to sandeel (Ammodytes spp.) grounds, sea surface temperature (SST), proxies for fronts, and day length. Day length and the spatial distribution of daily SST proved to be good proxies for "season," allowing predictions in both space and time. The density models captured seasonal distribution shifts of porpoises across international boundaries. By combining the large-scale international SCANS II survey with the more frequent, small-scale national surveys, it has been possible to provide seasonal maps that will be used to assist the EU Habitats and Marine Strategy Framework Directives in effectively assessing the conservation status of harbor porpoises. Moreover, our results can facilitate the identification of regions where human activities and disturbances are likely to impact the population and are especially relevant for marine spatial planning, which requires accurate fine-scale maps of species distribution to assess risks of increasing human activities at sea.

Check title to add to marked list
<< previous | next >>

Show 20 50 100 records per page

 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.