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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A high-resolution bioclimate map of the world: a unifying framework for global biodiversity research and monitoring
Metzger, M.J. ; Bunce, R.G.H. ; Jongman, R.H.G. ; Sayre, R. ; Trabucco, A. ; Zomer, R. - \ 2013
Global Ecology and Biogeography 22 (2013)5. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 630 - 638.
conterminous united-states - climate-change - land classification - observing system - europe - stratification - ecoregions - impacts - regions - trends
Aim To develop a novel global spatial framework for the integration and analysis of ecological and environmental data. Location The global land surface excluding Antarctica. Methods A broad set of climate-related variables were considered for inclusion in a quantitative model, which partitions geographic space into bioclimate regions. Statistical screening produced a subset of relevant bioclimate variables, which were further compacted into fewer independent dimensions using principal components analysis (PCA). An ISODATA clustering routine was then used to classify the principal components into relatively homogeneous environmental strata. The strata were aggregated into global environmental zones based on the attribute distances between strata to provide structure and support a consistent nomenclature. Results The global environmental stratification (GEnS) consists of 125 strata, which have been aggregated into 18 global environmental zones. The stratification has a 30 arcsec resolution (equivalent to 0.86 km2 at the equator). Aggregations of the strata were compared with nine existing global, continental and national bioclimate and ecosystem classifications using the Kappa statistic. Values range between 0.54 and 0.72, indicating good agreement in bioclimate and ecosystem patterns between existing maps and the GEnS. Main conclusions The GEnS provides a robust spatial analytical framework for the aggregation of local observations, identification of gaps in current monitoring efforts and systematic design of complementary and new monitoring and research. The dataset is available for non-commercial use through the GEO portal (
Letter to the editor: A new perspective for phytobenthos in the European Water Framework Directive
Besse-Lototskaya, A.A. ; Verdonschot, P.F.M. ; Coste, M. ; Vijver, B. van de - \ 2012
Ecological Indicators 18 (2012). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 705 - 708.
diatom communities - streams - rivers - indicators - macroinvertebrates - eutrophication - ecoregions - gradients - typology - ecology
Applying Climatically Associated Species Pools to modelling compositional change in tropical montane forests
Golicher, J.D. ; Cayuela, L. ; Alkemade, J.R.M. ; González-Espinosa, M. ; Ramírez-Marcial, N. - \ 2008
Global Ecology and Biogeography 17 (2008)2. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 262 - 273.
climate-change - tree diversity - global 200 - chiapas - mexico - highlands - fragmentation - distributions - ecoregions - vegetation
Aim Predictive species distribution modelling is a useful tool for extracting the maximum amount of information from biological collections and floristic inventories. However, in many tropical regions records are only available from a small number of sites. This can limit the application of predictive modelling, particularly in the case of rare and endangered species. We aim to address this problem by developing a methodology for defining and mapping species pools associated with climatic variables in order to investigate potential species turnover and regional species loss under climate change scenarios combined with anthropogenic disturbance. Location The study covered an area of 6800 km(2) in the highlands of Chiapas, southern Mexico. Methods We derived climatically associated species pools from floristic inventory data using multivariate analysis combined with spatially explicit discriminant analysis. We then produced predictive maps of the distribution of tree species pools using data derived from 451 inventory plots. After validating the predictive power of potential distributions against an independent historical data set consisting of 3105 botanical collections, we investigated potential changes in the distribution of tree species resulting from forest disturbance and climate change. Results Two species pools, associated with moist and cool climatic conditions, were identified as being particularly threatened by both climate change and ongoing anthropogenic disturbance. A change in climate consistent with low-emission scenarios of general circulation models was shown to be sufficient to cause major changes in equilibrium forest composition within 50 years. The same species pools were also found to be suffering the fastest current rates of deforestation and internal forest disturbance. Disturbance and deforestation, in combination with climate change, threaten the regional distributions of five tree species listed as endangered by the IUCN. These include the endemic species Magnolia sharpii Miranda and Wimmeria montana Lundell. Eleven vulnerable species and 34 species requiring late successional conditions for their regeneration could also be threatened. Main conclusions Climatically associated species pools can be derived from floristic inventory data available for tropical regions using methods based on multivariate analysis even when data limitations prevent effective application of individual species modelling. Potential consequences of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance on the species diversity of montane tropical forests in our study region are clearly demonstrated by the method.
Stream and river typologies - major results and conclusions from the STAR project
Sandin, L. ; Verdonschot, P.F.M. - \ 2006
Hydrobiologia 566 (2006)1. - ISSN 0018-8158 - p. 33 - 37.
macroinvertebrate - ecoregions
The EU Water Framework Directive uses abiotic variables for classifying streams and rivers into types. For rivers, the EU Water Framework Directive fixed typology i.e. `System A¿ typology are defined by ecoregions, size based on the catchment area, catchment geology and altitude. Within any given part of the WFD typology, it is assumed that biological communities at undisturbed sites will be broadly similar and will therefore constitute a type-specific biological target and a way to stratify the spatial variability in stream and river monitoring and assessment. The data collected for the STAR project cover 13 countries and include 22 stream types. A total of 233 sites were fully sampled for all biological quality elements (fish, macrophytes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and diatoms) in the study. Analysing the STAR macroinvertebrate dataset in relation to environmental and biogeographical variables resulted in three major groups of stream types that correspond to three major landscape types in Europe: Mountains, Lowlands and Mediterranean. Similar results were found when analysing all four biological quality elements (fish, macrophytes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and diatoms) sampled in the STAR project. The studies also showed that the stream types using the WFD `System A¿ descriptors are probably less useful at finer scales and it is suggested that a stream typology should take three main parameters as a starting point, i.e., climate (temperature), slope (current velocity) and stream size. Existing site-specific multivariate RIVPACS-type predictive models were also compared to both null models and the WFD `System A¿ physical typology as methods of predicting macroinvertebrate reference conditions. It was concluded that the multivariate models are more effective in predicting reference conditions primarily because they make use of continuous rather than categorical predictor variables and because the multivariate RIVPACS-type models are not constrained by the use of a limited number of variables.
Atmospheric nitrogen deposition in world biodiversity hotspots: the need for a greater global perspective in assessing N deposition impacts
Phoenix, G.K. ; Hicks, W.K. ; Cinderby, S. ; Kuylenstierna, J.C.I. ; Stock, W.D. ; Dentener, F.J. ; Giller, K.E. ; Austin, A.T. ; Lefroy, R.D.B. ; Gimeno, B.S. ; Ashmore, M.R. ; Ineson, P. - \ 2006
Global Change Biology 12 (2006)3. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 470 - 476.
terrestrial ecosystems - species richness - chalk-grassland - consequences - ecoregions - pollutants - population - vegetation - scenarios - ammonia
Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is known to reduce plant diversity in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, yet our understanding of these impacts comes almost entirely from studies in northern Europe and North America. Currently, we lack an understanding of the threat of N deposition to biodiversity at the global scale. In particular, rates of N deposition within the newly defined 34 world biodiversity hotspots, to which 50% of the world's floristic diversity is restricted, has not been quantified previously. Using output from global chemistry transport models, here we provide the first estimates of recent (mid-1990s) and future (2050) rates and distributions of N deposition within biodiversity hotspots. Our analysis shows that the average deposition rate across these areas was 50% greater than the global terrestrial average in the mid-1990s and could more than double by 2050, with 33 of 34 hotspots receiving greater N deposition in 2050 compared with 1990. By this time, 17 hotspots could have between 10% and 100% of their area receiving greater than 15 kg N ha1 yr1, a rate exceeding critical loads set for many sensitive European ecosystems. Average deposition in four hotspots is predicted to be greater than 20 kg N ha1 yr1. This elevated N deposition within areas of high plant diversity and endemism may exacerbate significantly the global threat of N deposition to world floristic diversity. Overall, we highlight the need for a greater global approach to assessing the impacts of N deposition
A climatic stratification of the environment of Europe
Metzger, M.J. ; Bunce, R.G.H. ; Jongman, R.H.G. ; Mücher, C.A. ; Watkins, J.W. - \ 2005
Global Ecology and Biogeography 14 (2005)6. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 549 - 563.
strategic ecological survey - land classification - great-britain - biodiversity - vegetation - life - ecoregions - cover
Aim To produce a statistical stratification of the European environment, suitable for stratified random sampling of ecological resources, the selection of sites for representative studies across the continent, and to provide strata for modelling exercises and reporting. Location A 'Greater European Window' with the following boundaries: 11 degrees W, 32 degrees E, 34 degrees N, 72 degrees N. Methods Twenty of the most relevant available environmental variables were selected, based on experience from previous studies. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to explain 88% of the variation into three dimensions, which were subsequently clustered using an ISODATA clustering routine. The mean first principal component values of the classification variables were used to aggregate the strata into Environmental Zones and to provide a basis for consistent nomenclature. Results The Environmental Stratification of Europe (EnS) consists of 84 strata, which have been aggregated into 13 Environmental Zones. The stratification has a 1 km(2) resolution. Aggregations of the strata have been compared to other European classifications using the Kappa statistic, and show 'good' comparisons. The individual strata have been described using data from available environmental databases. The EnS is available for noncommercial use by applying to the corresponding author. Main conclusions The Environmental Stratification of Europe has been constructed using tried and tested statistical procedures. It forms an appropriate stratification for stratified random sampling of ecological resources, the selection of sites for representative studies across the continent and for the provision of strata for modelling exercises and reporting at the European scale.
Africa's hotspots of biodiversity redefined
Küper, W. ; Sommer, J.H. ; Lovett, J.C. ; Beentje, H.J. ; Rompaey, R.S.A.R. van; Chatelain, C. ; Sosef, M.S.M. ; Barthlott, W. - \ 2004
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 91 (2004)4. - ISSN 0026-6493 - p. 525 - 535.
protected area network - conservation priorities - complementary areas - diversity - ecoregions - richness - birds - gaps - hot
A key problem for conservation is the coincidence of regions of high biodiversity with regions of high human impact. Twenty-five of the most threatened centers of plant diversity were identified by Myers et al., and these "hotspots" play a crucial role in international conservation strategies. The primary goal of the hotspots is to cover the most threatened centers of plant diversity, but their efficacy has not yet been tested empirically. For sub-Saharan Africa, our study evaluates the hotspots postulated by Myers and compares them to a set of redefined hotspots proposed on the basis of mapped distribution data for 5985 plant species. The two sets of hotspots overlap by 48%. Our redefined hotspots include 80% of the species and 66% of the range-restricted species of the sub-Saharan flora in areas under high human impact, whereas these values are 15% and 11% lower for Myers's hotspots. Despite having equal size and a considerable spatial overlap with Myers's hotspots, our redefined hotspots include further highly threatened centers of plant diversity in the Maputaland Pondoland Region, in Katanga, the East African Afromontane region, the Lower Guinea Region, and the Albertine Rift. Many of these redefined hotspots are poorly protected centers of plant and animal diversity. Their conservation is essential for a comprehensive coverage of Africa's centers of biodiversity.
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