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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Biological control of an invasive pest eases pressures on global commodity markets
Wyckhuys, K.A.G. ; Zhang, W. ; Prager, S.D. ; Kramer, D.B. ; Delaquis, E. ; Gonzalez, C.E. ; Werf, W. van der - \ 2018
Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)9. - ISSN 1748-9318
biological control - ecosystem services - invasion biology - social-ecological systems - sustainable intensification - tele-coupling

In an increasingly globalized world, invasive species cause major human, financial, and environmental costs. A cosmopolitan pest of great concern is the cassava mealybug Phenacoccus manihoti (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which invaded Asia in 2008. Following its arrival, P. manihoti inflicted measurable yield losses and a 27% drop in aggregate cassava production in Thailand. As Thailand is a vital exporter of cassava-derived commodities to China and supplies 36% of the world's internationally-traded starch, yield shocks triggered price surges and structural changes in global starch trade. In 2009 a biological control agent was introduced in Asia-the host-specific parasitoid, Anagyrus lopezi (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). This parasitoid had previously controlled the cassava mealybug in Africa, and its introduction in Asia restored yield levels at a continent-wide scale. Trade network and price time-series analyses reveal how both mealybug-induced production loss and subsequent parasitoid-mediated yield recovery coincided with price fluctuations in futures and spot markets, with important cascading effects on globe-spanning trade networks of (cassava) starch and commodity substitutes. While our analyses may not imply causality, especially given the concurrent 2007-2011 food crises, our results do illuminate the important interconnections among subcomponents of the global commodity system. Our work underlines how ecologically-based tactics support resilience and safeguard primary productivity in (tropical) agro-ecosystems, which in turn help stabilize commodity markets in a similar way as pesticide-centered approaches. Yet, more importantly, (judiciously-implemented) biological control can deliver ample 'hidden' environmental and human-health benefits that are not captured by the prices of globally-traded commodities.

Data from: Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition
Karp, Daniel S. ; Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca ; Meehan, Timothy D. ; Martin, Emily A. ; DeClerck, Fabrice ; Grab, Heather ; Gratton, Claudio ; Hunt, Lauren ; Larsen, Ashley E. ; Martínez-Salinas, Alejandra ; Zhang, W. ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Werf, W. van der - \ 2018
agroecology - biological control - natural enemies - pest control - pest - ecosystem services - landscape
The idea that noncrop habitat enhances pest control and represents a win–win opportunity to conserve biodiversity and bolster yields has emerged as an agroecological paradigm. However, while noncrop habitat in landscapes surrounding farms sometimes benefits pest predators, natural enemy responses remain heterogeneous across studies and effects on pests are inconclusive. The observed heterogeneity in species responses to noncrop habitat may be biological in origin or could result from variation in how habitat and biocontrol are measured. Here, we use a pest-control database encompassing 132 studies and 6,759 sites worldwide to model natural enemy and pest abundances, predation rates, and crop damage as a function of landscape composition. Our results showed that although landscape composition explained significant variation within studies, pest and enemy abundances, predation rates, crop damage, and yields each exhibited different responses across studies, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing in landscapes with more noncrop habitat but overall showing no consistent trend. Thus, models that used landscape-composition variables to predict pest-control dynamics demonstrated little potential to explain variation across studies, though prediction did improve when comparing studies with similar crop and landscape features. Overall, our work shows that surrounding noncrop habitat does not consistently improve pest management, meaning habitat conservation may bolster production in some systems and depress yields in others. Future efforts to develop tools that inform farmers when habitat conservation truly represents a win–win would benefit from increased understanding of how landscape effects are modulated by local farm management and the biology of pests and their enemies.
Review: Make ruminants green again - How can sustainable intensification and agroecology converge for a better future?
Dumont, B. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Tichit, M. - \ 2018
Animal (2018). - ISSN 1751-7311
ecosystem services - efficiency - food systems - redesign - sustainability

Livestock farming systems provide multiple benefits to humans: protein-rich diets that contribute to food security, employment and rural economies, capital stock and draught power in many developing countries and cultural landscape all around the world. Despite these positive contributions to society, livestock is also the centre of many controversies as regards to its environmental impacts, animal welfare and health outcomes related to excessive meat consumption. Here, we review the potentials of sustainable intensification (SI) and agroecology (AE) in the design of sustainable ruminant farming systems. We analyse the two frameworks in a historical perspective and show that they are underpinned by different values and worldviews about food consumption patterns, the role of technology and our relationship with nature. Proponents of SI see the increase in animal protein demand as inevitable and therefore aim at increasing production from existing farmland to limit further encroachment into remaining natural ecosystems. Sustainable intensification can thus be seen as an efficiency-oriented framework that benefits from all forms of technological development. Proponents of AE appear more open to dietary shifts towards less animal protein consumption to rebalance the whole food system. Agroecology promotes system redesign, benefits from functional diversity and aims at providing regulating and cultural services. We analyse the main criticisms of the two frameworks: Is SI sustainable? How much can AE contribute to feeding the world? Indeed, in SI, social justice has long lacked attention notably with respect to resource allocation within and between generations. It is only recently that some of its proponents have indicated that there is room to include more diversified systems and food-system transformation perspectives and to build socially fair governance systems. As no space is available for agricultural land expansion in many areas, agroecological approaches that emphasise the importance of local production should also focus more on yield increases from agricultural land. Our view is that new technologies and strict certifications offer opportunities for scaling-up agroecological systems. We stress that the key issue for making digital science part of the agroecological transition is that it remains at a low cost and is thus accessible to smallholder farmers. We conclude that SI and AE could converge for a better future by adopting transformative approaches in the search for ecologically benign, socially fair and economically viable ruminant farming systems.

Comparison of ecosystem services provided by grasslands with different utilization patterns in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Du, Bingzhen ; Zhen, Lin ; Hu, Yunfeng ; Yan, Huimin ; Groot, Rudolf de; Leemans, Rik - \ 2018
Journal of Geographical Sciences 28 (2018)10. - ISSN 1009-637X - p. 1399 - 1414.
ecosystem services - grasslands utilization pattern - household livelihoods - natural resource management - soil - vegetation

Although several previous studies in Inner Mongolia examined the effects of ecological conservation on the delivery of ecosystem services, they were often limited in scope (few ecosystem services were assessed) and often suffered from confounding by spatial variation. In this study, we examined the impact of conservation measures (changes in grassland utilization patterns) on the provision of selected ecosystem services in three types of grasslands (meadow steppe in Hulun Buir, typical steppe in Xilin Gol, and semi-desert steppe in Ordos) in Inner Mongolia. We examined five utilization patterns: no use (natural grasslands), light use, moderate use, intensive use, and recovery sites (degraded sites protected from further use). Through household surveys and vegetation and soil surveys, we measured the differences in ecosystem services among the different grassland utilization patterns. We also identified spatial factors that confounded the quantification of ecosystem services in different types of grasslands. We found that light use generally provided high levels of ecosystem services in meadow steppe and typical steppe, with the main differences in the supporting ecosystem services. Surprisingly, we found no consistently positive impacts of strict conservation activities across the sites, since the results varied spatially and with respect to differences in the land-use patterns. Our study suggests that appropriate grassland utilization patterns can enhance the supply of ecosystem services and reduce negative effects on both household livelihoods and the environment.

The Politics of Environmental Knowledge
Turnhout, Esther - \ 2018
Conservation and Society 16 (2018)3. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 363 - 371.
accountability - biodiversity governance - ecosystem services - neoliberalism - representation - science-policy interface

This essay offers a critical engagement with the ideal of policy relevant environmental knowledge. Using examples in environmental governance and conservation, it argues that by packaging knowledge in terms and categories that are considered politically salient, scientists do not just inform policy-making by providing information about presumed pre-existing objects in nature and environment; rather, science is constitutive of those objects and renders them amenable for policy and governance. These political implications of scientific knowledge imply a need for critical scrutiny of the interests that science serves and fails to serve as well as mechanisms to ensure the accountability of science. This essay is a modified and expanded version of the inaugural lecture with the same title that was delivered on June 2, 2016 at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Wild pollinators enhance oilseed rape yield in small-holder farming systems in China
Zou, Y. ; Xiao, Haijun ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Jauker, Frank ; Luo, Shudong ; Werf, W. van der - \ 2017
ecosystem services - Canola - compensation - honey bee - pollination - pollinator diversity - wild bee
Background Insect pollinators play an important role in crop pollination, but the relative contribution of wild pollinators and honey bees to pollination is currently under debate. There is virtually no information available on the strength of pollination services and the identity of pollination service providers from Asian smallholder farming systems, where fields are small, and variation among fields is high. We established 18 winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) fields along a large geographical gradient in Jiangxi province in China. In each field, oilseed rape plants were grown in closed cages that excluded pollinators and open cages that allowed pollinator access. The pollinator community was sampled by pan traps for the entire oilseed rape blooming period. Results Oilseed rape plants from which insect pollinators were excluded had on average 38% lower seed set, 17% lower fruit set and 12% lower yield per plant, but the seeds were 17% heavier, and the caged plants had 28% more flowers and 18% higher aboveground vegetative biomass than plants with pollinator access. Oilseed rape plants thus compensate for pollination deficit by producing heavier seeds and more flowers. Regression analysis indicated that local abundance and diversity of wild pollinators were positively associated with seed set and yield/straw ratio, while honey bee abundance was not related to yield parameters. Conclusions Wild pollinator abundance and diversity contribute to oilseed rape yield by enhancing plant resource allocation to seeds rather than to above-ground biomass. This study highlights the importance of the conservation of wild pollinators to support oilseed rape production in small-holder farming systems in China.
Europe: the paradox of landscape change : A case-study based contribution to the understanding of landscape transitions
Sluis, Theo van der - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bas Arts, co-promotor(en): Bas Pedroli. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438094 - 227
europe - case studies - landscape - change - landscape conservation - land use dynamics - cultural landscape - regions - urbanization - rural areas - policy - ecosystem services - agri-environment schemes - europa - gevalsanalyse - landschap - verandering - landschapsbescherming - dynamiek van het ruimtegebruik - cultuurlandschap - regio's - urbanisatie - platteland - beleid - ecosysteemdiensten - agrarisch natuurbeheer

This thesis explores the processes of change in European rural landscapes. Landscapes have evolved over millennia as a result of human influence on the physical environment. Europe has a wide variety of landscapes that can alter within a relatively short distance, and which often form part of the national cultural identity of a European country. Central to this thesis, however, are insights into the processes of landscape change.

In this context, the overall objective of this thesis is: To assess the dynamics of landscape change and increase the scientific understanding of the underlying processes and policies that have shaped the rural landscapes of Europe after establishment of the EU.

The focus is on the period following the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1965, which is hypothesised as the main driver of landscape change. European policies have an important direct impact on national and regional policies. The way that European policy transposition took place, existing governance structures and policy cultures also defined how ‘European policy’ influenced countries and regions. The object of this study is in particular the changing rural landscape, including the role of European agricultural policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and conservation policies (for example Natura2000) in these changes.

The thesis uses an integrated approach to assess the various processes of landscape change: land use transitions, urbanisation of the countryside, land use intensification, extensification or abandonment. These processes are linked to drivers of landscape changes, the role of policies, and how these affect the landscape processes.

Research questions

The research objective requires unravelling the correlations between land-related policies and landscape change in the EU, the drivers of landscape change and in particular how policies affect the European landscape. To operationalise this objective, the following research questions are addressed:

What are the major landscape change processes occurring in different regions of Europe?

What are the drivers of landscape change in different regions of Europe, and what is the role of EU-policies in particular?

How do landscape changes affect the provision of landscape services?

How does the implementation of conservation policies affect processes of landscape change?

Which effective strategies and future pathways can be followed to conserve valuable cultural landscapes?

The thesis consists of an introductory chapter, five chapters each addressing one of the research questions, and a concluding synthesis: putting the findings together and indicating their potential significance for research and policy. The first chapter introduces the theoretical framework, which focusses on the benefits (goods and services) that landscapes provide, satisfying human demands directly or indirectly. The framework recognises the institutions, the policies (indirect drivers), as well as natural and anthropogenic drivers of landscape change. The five central chapters have each been submitted to international peer reviewed scientific journals, three of which have been accepted, and one has been revised and resubmitted.

Research question Q1, ‘What are major landscape changes occurring in different regions of Europe?’ is addressed by interviewing 437 farmers in six selected study areas in Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Romania (Chapter 2). The aim of this survey was to acquire a better understanding of farmer’s decision making, the environmental conditions and the landscape change processes taking place. The focus is on intensification and extensification processes in the case-study areas and regional similarities and differences. A statistical analysis of land use intensity was carried out on the basis of the interviews.

Research question Q2, ‘What are the drivers of landscape change in different regions of Europe, and what particularly are the role of EU-policies?’, discusses the factors and drivers of change in a meta-study of six countries (Chapter 3). This study is based on stakeholder’s interpretations of change processes, using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping. Groups of landscape experts participated in five workshops to jointly construct a cognitive map of landscape change processes over the past 25 years. The study examines in particular the storylines of the processes of landscape change. Two cases of Mediterranean and Boreal landscapes, are detailed.

Question Q3, ‘How do landscape changes affect the provision of landscape services?’ is addressed in Chapter 4, and discusses five European case studies with regard to changes in landscape services. The analysis is based on observed landscape changes by comparing maps for periods of up to 25 years. The changes were interpreted in terms of the consequences for landscape services, and related to European policies of landscape change.

Question Q4: ‘How does the implementation of conservation policies affect processes of landscape change?’ is discussed in Chapter 5 through focus on landscape governance. The transposition of European policy is assessed using the case of the Habitats Directive in four countries: Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands and Romania. It is assessed how legislation is locally translated and how this ‘fits’ the national governance system.

The last Question, Q5: ‘Which effective strategies and future pathways can be followed to conserve valuable cultural landscapes?’ is addressed in Chapter 6 on Mediterranean landscape change. Two ‘iconic’ Greek and Italian cultural olive yard landscapes were compared. Both landscapes have a centuries-old farming system. Long-term data sets on landscape change (exceeding 100 years) were combined with map data, interviews and literature, to discuss the characteristics of cultural landscape management, opportunities and potential risks for the future of these cultural landscapes.

The final chapter, Chapter 7, reflects on the results and presents the conclusions of the previous chapters, and on the scientific and societal significance of the thesis as a whole. It is concluded that the landscape in Europe is permanently changing as a result of complex interacting drivers. Policy has been one of the important drivers, but the landscape changes that have taken place are the outcome of various economic drivers and policies. The paradox is that the intentions of different European and regional spatial policies have been ambitious with regard to rural development, environmental quality, conservation of natural habitats and cultural heritage. In the end however, the complex interactions among direct and indirect drivers led to unintentional changes negatively affecting landscape value, resulting in land degradation, loss of cultural values and biodiversity. In other words, dominant drivers of landscape change (global economy, European policies) resulted in an outcome of landscapes that are preferred by the majority of the agricultural and forest sector, but otherwise no specific stakeholders were targeted, an outcome which was not envisaged by the policies.

Without efficient allocation of land resources and failing to regulate sustainable use, the landscape services are declining One approach to meet the diverse demands for landscape services is to focus on the provision of multiple benefits, using a multifunctional land use approach. The assumption thereby is that a multifunctional landscape has all aspects of a sustainable, liveable and biodiverse landscape.

The case studies landscapes in this thesis are characterised by different approaches that differ in multifunctionality: the marginal areas in southern Europe are less embedded in the global economy, and demonstrate high multifunctionality. Denmark and The Netherlands show typical ‘lowland agriculture’, that are weakly multifunctional. The Eastern European landscape cases in Romania and Estonia have higher multifunctionality, but the opportunities for change towards multifunctionality are less than in Western Europe. The opportunities are mostly dictated by environmental conditions, in particular the marginality of land, and the economy. Farming in these regions may have been profitable in the past, but abandonment is looming if no measures are taken to counteract economic driving forces.

The cultural landscapes such as in Lesvos and Portofino are particularly highly multifunctional. These old social systems are in decline: landscapes have deteriorated and changed since they have not been well maintained. The discontinuance of traditional management has occurred due to ageing populations, a lack of labour, skills and high costs. If iconic cultural landscapes are to be preserved for the future, deterioration must be halted. Traditional knowledge, skills and techniques are key for maintaining valuable cultural landscapes, such as in Italy and Greece, but also cultural landscapes in Western Europe like England or France, or traditional landscapes in Hungary or Poland. Solutions must be found to preserve the knowledge and traditions of landscape management, but also funds and labour are required to maintain these landscapes.

European landscapes have been permanently changing as a result of complex interacting drivers. Policy is one of the important drivers, but the landscape changes that take place are not the outcome of ‘a’ policy which steers the landscape development, but as the outcome of globalisation, economic drivers and policies; mostly the CAP, Rural Development Plan (RDP) and national forest policies which affect to a large measure the landscapes. There is no European policy for landscapes: landscape is not a prerogative of the EU.

Therefore, a tailor-made approach is essential for European policies implemented in each member state, taking into account the structure and functioning of existing national institutions, without losing sight of the overall aims of the policy. This requires input from the recipient countries in designing regulations, adapting them to existent institutions and modifying historical and current practices.

Holmes’ framework for changing modes of occupancy (use of rural space) has been used, whereby landscape transitions are considered the result of a changing balance between societal consumption, conservation and production. Landscapes where (agricultural or forestry) production is less dominant, may allow for more multifunctional policies that counterbalance the dominant position of production. Most countries do not have policies that fill the ‘gap’ of multifunctional landscape management. Gaps exist for landscapes not subject to Natura 2000, high nature value farming areas, outside urban zones, locations not affected by the Water Framework Directive or national forest policies, or those insufficiently covered at present by effective planning for multifunctional land use.

Existing (sectoral) schemes need to be re-examined with respect to multifunctionality. Potential multifunctional impacts should be considered in policymaking, e.g. payment schemes in the CAP or in Natura 2000, and about appropriate target areas for measures. Making more funds from CAP and RDP available for multifunctional land use could lead to more land sharing.

Landscapes, particularly iconic cultural landscapes, can benefit from mechanisms that allow the costs incurred by lower agricultural production to be covered. Payments for regulating and cultural services could be integrated in funding programs, e.g. through better targeting of Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) at smaller farmers in these valuable landscapes. Funding schemes should ensure that small, multifunctional farmers particularly in need support benefit. Better use must also be made of the added value potential of multifunctional effects. Increased multifunctionality would benefit the attractiveness of the countryside for residence, recreation and tourism.

Countries implement policies differently, but key success factors for multifunctional landscapes are the existence of locally- appropriate institutions that implement multifunctional policies. Building of new institutions can be time consuming and requires staff development.

Policy instruments on their own may be insufficient to harmonise the different aims of multifunctionality. Despite the AES, biodiversity and landscape quality is declining. The domination of some functions requires interventions and choices about trade-offs to be made (Arts et al. 2017). Given the dominant power of globalisation and European markets, payment for landscape services alone is ineffective, requiring additional incentives for the valorisation of these services, and to stimulate multifunctionality. Regional integrative approaches could be supported, with positive examples provided in the cases of alternative funding schemes, and how obstructions for such experiments can be tackled.

Finally, stakeholder involvement in landscape governance appears promising as a way to better meet the socio-ecological context within a landscape, provided that stakeholders address different scale levels. This requires a dynamic process to mobilise stakeholders, and flexibility of the government towards negotiations and conflict management at the landscape level. In particular, these last issues can be decisive for successful landscape governance. Different landscape governance arrangements are currently being tested in Europe which demonstrate new avenues. Notwithstanding some successful stakeholder involvement in landscape management, there are also challenges: in all such processes, there is a risk that collaboration results in power inequalities that affect the outcome, or may give certain groups more benefits than others, which may make the process unsustainable. It remains, therefore, important that the concept of multifunctional landscapes is integrated in existing legislation and regulations, and further integrated into land-related policies.

It depends: : effects of soil organic matter in aboveground-belowground interactions in agro-ecosystems
Gils, Stijn Herman van - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Wim van der Putten; David Kleijn. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436526 - 176
soil organic matter - agroecosystems - aphidoidea - fertilizers - wheat - rape - crop yield - ecosystem services - nutrient availability - pest control - organic farming - organisch bodemmateriaal - agro-ecosystemen - kunstmeststoffen - tarwe - koolzaad - gewasopbrengst - ecosysteemdiensten - voedingsstoffenbeschikbaarheid - plagenbestrijding - biologische landbouw

Over the last decades agricultural production increased drastically due to the use of external inputs. However, the use of external inputs has high environmental costs and may negatively influence ecosystem processes such as pollination and pest control that underpin agricultural production. Soil organic matter has been proposed as a potential alternative to external inputs as it relates to multiple yield promoting ecosystem processes. The aim of my thesis is to assess whether and how soil organic matter content alters the effect of some ecosystem processes and external inputs on crop yield. I examined whether soil organic matter alters biomass of wheat and oilseed rape under fertilizer supply. Other biotic and abiotic factors that operate at different spatial and temporal scales are also included in some of these experiments. I found that under controlled conditions soil organic matter may reduce the positive effect of mineral fertilizer supply on crop biomass. The reduction changed with the presence or absence of a pathogenic root fungus, but not with drought stress. Moreover, soil organic matter enhances performance of aphids under controlled greenhouse conditions, but the enhancement was less than fertilizer supply. None of these controlled experiments, however, showed that soil organic matter can be an alternative to mineral fertilizer supply. Under field conditions soil organic matter did not strongly affect plant nutrient availability or performances of aphid and its natural enemies. The relation between soil organic matter and plant biomass in a greenhouse experiment did not change with organic management or the duration of it, neither did it change with pollinator visitation rate, an ecosystem process that is managed on the landscape scale. These results suggest that soil organic matter may relate to ecosystem services that influence crop yield, whereas these relations might not be significant under field conditions. Collectively, all these results suggest that the relation between soil organic matter content and ecosystem processes that benefit crop yield is highly context dependent. I propose future research may focus on (1) the quality of soil organic matter rather than the content per se and (2) the relation between soil organic matter content and crop yield under realistic conditions in a longer term.

Expansion and fragment settlement of the non-native seagrass Halophila stipulacea in a Caribbean bay
Smulders, Fee O.H. ; Vonk, J.A. ; Engel, M.S. ; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A. - \ 2017
Marine Biology Research 13 (2017)9. - ISSN 1745-1000 - p. 967 - 974.
Dutch Caribbean - ecosystem services - exotic seagrass - Halophila stipulacea - range expansion - vegetative fragmentation

The non-native seagrass species Halophila stipulacea has spread throughout the Eastern Caribbean since 2002, and could potentially impact the functioning of local seagrass ecosystems. Important characteristics for invasiveness, such as dispersal, recruitment and expansion of H. stipulacea at a local scale, are unknown. We assessed H. stipulacea expansion rates within Lac Bay, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean (7 km2), since its establishment in 2010 and tested the settlement potential of uprooted vegetative fragments of H. stipulacea. Using 49 fixed locations, we observed that between 2011 and 2015 the occurrence of H. stipulacea in the bay increased significantly from 6% to 20% while native Thalassia testudinum occurrence decreased significantly from 53% to 33%. Free-floating H. stipulacea fragments that were collected and tethered above the sediment rooted within 10 days with a settlement success rate of 100%. The growth of settled fragments was on average 0.91 shoots d−1. The ongoing shift from native T. testudinum to introduced H. stipulacea dominated meadows may have important consequences for multiple Caribbean seagrass ecosystem functions. Given the large difference in size between the two seagrass species, functions such as coastal protection, habitat structure, food availability, and the stability and resilience of these systems can be altered. The next steps towards modelling future expansion of H. stipulacea throughout the Caribbean and beyond should include the assessment of fragment viability and dispersal distance, and the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on vegetative fragment density, dispersion and settlement by this species.

Modelling the dynamic interactions between food production and ecosystem services : a case study in Benin
Duku, C. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Lars Hein, co-promotor(en): S.J. Zwart. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431613 - 141
ecosystem services - modeling - food production - case studies - hydrology - irrigation - forests - woodlands - climatic change - nature conservation - food security - benin - ecosysteemdiensten - modelleren - voedselproductie - gevalsanalyse - hydrologie - irrigatie - bossen - bosgebieden - klimaatverandering - natuurbescherming - voedselzekerheid

Given the high levels of food insecurity and the loss of vital ecosystem services associated with deforestation, countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) face a major dilemma. How can they produce enough food in a changing climate to feed an increasing population while protecting natural forests and woodlands that provide a wide array of ecosystem services beneficial to livelihoods? Thus, the objectives of this thesis are twofold. First, to further enhance the understanding of the dynamic interactions between food production, and natural and semi-natural ecosystems with a case study in Benin. Second, to further enhance the understanding of how hydrological ecosystem services can be captured in an accounting framework. Understanding hydrological ecosystem services is key to understanding the multi-directional relationship between food production and ecosystem services supply from natural and semi-natural ecosystems. First, I examine how a spatially explicit ecohydrological model can be used to analyse multiple hydrological ecosystem services in line with the ecosystem accounting framework. The hydrological ecosystem services include crop water supply for rainfed agriculture, household water supply (both groundwater supply and surface water supply), water purification, and soil erosion control. Second, I develop a general modelling approach for analysing the effects of deforestation on the availability of water for irrigation at the watershed level, and I apply the approach to the Upper Oueme watershed in Benin. Third, I analyse the impact of climate change on agricultural intensification options. Finally, I quantify trade-offs between per capita food availability and protecting forests and woodlands at different levels of yield increases taking into account climate change, population growth. This thesis shows that the integration of hydrological ecosystem services into an accounting framework can provide relevant information at appropriate scales suitable for decision-making. It is empirically feasible to distinguish between service capacity and service flow of hydrological ecosystem services. This requires appropriate decisions regarding physical and mathematical representation of ecohydrological processes, spatial heterogeneity of ecosystems, temporal resolution, and required model accuracy. This thesis also shows that opportunities for irrigation expansion depend on conservation of forests and woodlands in the headwaters of the rivers feeding the irrigation scheme. Opportunities for agricultural intensification in SSA are likely to diminish with climate change, hence increasing pressure to expand cultivated areas in order to meet increasing food demand. Climate change will lead to substantial reductions in; exploitable yield gaps for major food crops, rainfed cropland areas that can support the cultivation of two or more crops per year, and water availability for irrigation expansion. Furthermore, in the far future crop yields will have to increase at a faster rate than has been recorded over the past two and half decades in order to maintain current levels of per capita food availability. Failure to achieve the required levels of yield increases is likely to lead to the conversion of substantial areas of forests and woodlands for crop cultivation. Based on the results of this thesis, four main recommendations to help address the dual challenge of food security and ecosystem protection in Benin and the larger SSA region are made: (i) promote a precautionary approach to forest and woodland conservation, (ii) promote cross-sectoral policy coherence and consultations, (iii) promote the development of satellite ecosystem accounts consistent with national accounts, and (iv) identify, evaluate and implement adaptation and resilience measures to reduce agricultural vulnerability to climate change.

Data from: Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators: spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists
Dainese, Matteo ; Riedinger, Verena ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Kleijn, D. ; Scheper, J.A. ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf - \ 2017
ecosystem services - landscape context - mass-flowering crops - natural enemies - nesting resources - off-field practices - oilseed rape - resource limitation - solitary bees - top-down or bottom-up control
1. The decline of managed honeybees and the rapid expansion of mass-flowering crops increase the risk of pollination limitation in crops and raise questions about novel management approaches for wild pollinators in agroecosystems. Adding artificial nesting sites, such as trap nests, can promote cavity-nesting bees in agroecosystems, but effectiveness could be limited by the availability of floral resources in the surrounding landscape and by natural antagonists. 2. In two European regions, we exposed artificial trap nests in paired field boundaries adjacent to oilseed rape (OSR) fields or non-flowering crops for two years within 32 landscapes covering two independent gradients of OSR cover and semi-natural habitat (SNH) cover in the landscape. We analysed the effects of local and landscape-wide floral resource availability, land-use intensity, landscape complexity and natural antagonists on community composition and population dynamics of trap-nesting bees. 3. Number of brood cells showed a strong, three-fold increase in response to the additional nesting sites. Species richness and abundance of cavity-nesting bees that were active during OSR flowering increased significantly with increasing amount of early-season landscape-wide floral resource availability, such as the cultivation of OSR. Later foraging species benefited instead from the availability of late-season alternative flower resources or SNH cover once the mass-flowering had ceased. Density-dependent parasitism increased following mass-flowering, while no density-dependent effect was found during mass-flowering. 4. Structural equation modelling revealed that the influence of floral resource availability on community growth rate was mediated by community size. Community size showed a strong negative effect on community growth rate. Despite positive density-dependent parasitism, antagonists had only weak regulating effects on community growth rate. 5. Synthesis and applications. Trap-nesting bee populations grow markedly with the increasing availability of food resources in the landscape and effectiveness of trap nests is only marginally limited by natural antagonists. Thus, trap nests could be a simple pollinator-supporting strategy to accompany the current expansion of mass-flowering crops, and to ensure pollination services for insect-pollinated crops. Trap nests benefit not only early season active generalist bees during oilseed rape flowering but also species with later phenology if accompanied by other pollinator-supporting practices.
Comparative Assessment of Goods and Services Provided by Grazing Regulation and Reforestation in Degraded Mediterranean Rangelands
Papanastasis, Vasilios P. ; Bautista, Susana ; Chouvardas, Dimitrios ; Mantzanas, Konstantinos ; Papadimitriou, Maria ; Garcia Mayor, Angeles ; Koukioumi, Polina ; Papaioannou, Athanasios ; Vallejo, Ramon V. - \ 2017
Land Degradation and Development 28 (2017)4. - ISSN 1085-3278 - p. 1178 - 1187.
carbon sequestration - ecosystem services - forage - grazing management - landscape functional analysis - plant diversity - restoration actions - soil functions

Several management actions are applied to restore ecosystem services in degraded Mediterranean rangelands, which range from adjusting the grazing pressure to the removal of grazers and pine plantations. Four such actions were assessed in Quercus coccifera L. shrublands in northern Greece: (i) moderate grazing by goats and sheep; (ii) no grazing; (iii) no grazing plus pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) plantation in forest gaps (gap reforestation); and (iv) no grazing plus full reforestation of shrubland areas, also with P. pinaster. In addition, heavy grazing was also assessed to serve as a control action. We comparatively assessed the impact of these actions on key provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services by using ground-based indicators. Depending on the ecosystem service considered, the management actions were ranked differently. However, the overall provision of services was particularly favoured under moderate and no grazing management options, with moderate grazing outranking any other action in provisioning services and the no grazing action presenting the most balanced provision of services. Pine reforestations largely contributed to water and soil conservation and C sequestration but had a negative impact on plant diversity when implemented at the expense of removing natural vegetation in the area. Heavy grazing had the lowest provision of ecosystem services. It is concluded that degraded rangelands can be restored by moderating the grazing pressure rather than completely banning livestock grazing or converting them into pine plantations.

Walnotenboomgaard als pensioenvoorziening : bomen verdienen een plek in de landbouw, ter inspiratie een permacultuurontwerp
Zandbergen, Jelmer - \ 2017
Ekoland (2017)3. - ISSN 0926-9142 - p. 14 - 15.
walnoten - boomgaarden - juglon - agroforestry - bomen voor meerdere doeleinden - ecosysteemdiensten - walnuts - orchards - juglone - multipurpose trees - ecosystem services
Na de tweede wereldoorlog werden akkers en weilanden groter. Veel bomen werden gerooid en 200.000 km aan hagen verdween. Met de bijbehorende ecosysteemdiensten, zoals koolstofbinding en een microklimaat waar gewassen en dieren van profiteren. Nu is er weer meer aandacht voor het terugbrengen van bomen en hagen in de landbouw, zeker als ze naast de ecosysteemdiensten ook voedsel en hout produceren
Accounting for ecosystem assets using remote sensing in the Colombian Orinoco River Basin lowlands
Vargas Barbosa, Leonardo ; Hein, Lars ; Remme, Roy P. - \ 2017
Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 11 (2017)2. - ISSN 1931-3195
condition - ecosystem services - measurement - moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer - net primary productivity

Worldwide, ecosystem change compromises the supply of ecosystem services (ES). Better managing ecosystems requires detailed information on these changes and their implications for ES supply. Ecosystem accounting has been developed as an environmental-economic accounting system using concepts aligned with the System of National Accounts. Ecosystem accounting requires spatial information from a local to national scale. The objective of this paper is to explore how remote sensing can be used to analyze ecosystems using an accounting approach in the Orinoco River Basin. We assessed ecosystem assets in terms of extent, condition, and capacity to supply ES. We focus on four specific ES: grasslands grazed by cattle, timber harvesting, oil palm fresh fruit bunches harvesting, and carbon sequestration. We link ES with six ecosystem assets: savannahs, woody grasslands, mixed agroecosystems, very dense forests, dense forest, and oil palm plantations. We used remote sensing vegetation and productivity indexes to measure ecosystem assets. We found that remote sensing is a powerful tool to estimate ecosystem extent. The enhanced vegetation index can be used to assess ecosystems condition, and net primary productivity can be used for the assessment of ecosystem assets capacity to supply ES. Integrating remote sensing and ecological information facilitates efficient monitoring of ecosystem assets.

To Tree or Not to Tree : Cultural Views from Ancient Romans to Modern Ecologists
Holmgren, Milena ; Scheffer, Marten - \ 2017
Ecosystems 20 (2017)1. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 62 - 68.
ecosystem services - forest - grassland - land degradation - savanna - tree encroachment - visions of nature

Few things are more defining in a landscape compared to the absence or presence of trees, both in aesthetic and in functional terms. At the same time, tree cover has been profoundly affected by humans since ancient times. It is therefore not surprising that opinions about deforestation and colonization of landscapes by trees have always been strong. Although loss of forests is often lamented, there is also profound cultural affection for open landscapes including some that have been deforested in the past. Here we take a historical view on perceptions of changing tree cover, and subsequently argue that the current ecological literature on forest-savanna-grassland transitions is not immune to value-laden perspectives. So far, ecosystem science has not done enough to analyze the effects of tree cover changes on ecosystem services and indicators of human well-being. Until these analyses are done, debates about forested versus open landscapes will be clashes of values rather than scientific evaluations. We discuss how ecosystem science may contribute to developing this field.

The politics of environmental knowledge
Turnhout, E. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573796 - 20
milieuwetenschappen - milieu - kennis - biodiversiteit - ecosysteemdiensten - natuurbescherming - politiek - environmental sciences - environment - knowledge - biodiversity - ecosystem services - nature conservation - politics
Kansenkaarten voor duurzaam benutten Natuurlijk Kapitaal
Knegt, B. de; Hoek, D.C.J. van der; Veerkamp, C.J. ; Woltjer, I. ; Aa, N.G.F.M. van der; Boekel, E.M.P.M. van; Diederiks, J.F.H.A. ; Goosen, H. ; Koekoek, A. ; Lesschen, J.P. ; Staritsky, I.G. ; Vries, F. de; Hendriks, C.M.A. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken Natuur & Milieu (WOt-technical report 75) - 122
ecosysteemdiensten - natuur - water - drinkwater - hoogwaterbeheersing - landbouw - nederland - ecosystem services - nature - drinking water - flood control - agriculture - netherlands
Local projects conducted within the framework of the Natural Capital Netherlands (NKN) programmeidentified various opportunities for mutual improvement of natural capital and the economy. In a follow-upstudy we investigated whether the insights gained also apply to other parts of the Netherlands. Which areasoffer the best opportunities? What measures are needed in these areas to actually capitalise on theseopportunities, and who are the relevant stakeholders? To address these questions, the local opportunitiesidentified in the NKN projects were explored at the national level, using ‘opportunity maps’. The three localprojects are: Greening the Common Agricultural Policy, Clean Water and Delta Programme
Kansen voor ontwikkeling van robuuste natuur in Nederland
Sanders, M.E. ; Henkens, R.J.H.G. ; Veraart, J.A. ; Woltjer, I. ; Greft-van Rossum, J.G.M. van der; Clement, J. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research report 2748) - 69
natuurontwikkeling - natuur - natuurbeheer - ecosysteemdiensten - nederland - nature development - nature - nature management - ecosystem services - netherlands
Het kabinet wil een robuuste en veelzijdige natuur die de invloed van de samenleving kan verdragen. Deze natuur moet passen bij het veranderende klimaat, maximaal aansluiten bij natuurlijke processen, duurzaam en betaalbaar zijn, een toekomstbestendig beheer en haalbare doelen hebben. Robuuste natuur kan dus tegen een stootje en heeft een nuttige functie. Maar wat verstaan we nu onder robuuste, toekomstbestendige, veelzijdige, zelfredzame, veerkrachtige natuur? Dit rapport heeft als doel om de bovenstaande ideeën uit de natuurvisie te concretiseren. Daarvoor zoeken we naar kansrijke locaties voor robuuste natuur met o.a. meer mogelijkheden voor natuurlijke processen en naar een combinatie van natuur met maatschappelijke opgaven.
Optimising land use in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia : modelling ecosystem benefits and land use dynamics
Suwarno, Aritta - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Rik Leemans; Lars Hein, co-promotor(en): Hans-Peter Weikard. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578739 - 156
land use - deforestation - decentralization - ecosystem services - ecosystems - forest policy - forests - modeling - kalimantan - indonesia - landgebruik - ontbossing - decentralisatie - ecosysteemdiensten - ecosystemen - bosbeleid - bossen - modelleren - indonesië

The rising global population has increased the demand for food, renewable energy and other materials. Yet at the same time to meet this demand requires land and the amount of available land is finite. Considering the importance of land and ecosystems in providing benefits for human, I conducted four independent research on the socio-economic and biophysical aspects of ecosystem service, in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. The first three independent studies were used to understand ecosystem management under decentralised forest governance in Indonesia and its influence on ecosystems, ESs and the benefits that different beneficiaries receive. The fourth study combines the outcomes from the previous three studies to assess and select the most appropriate areas for conservation and community development. As the results, I show the applicability of the ecosystem services concept and land-use modelling in optimising land-use under certain decentralised forest governance systems. My thesis’ results were obtained through the application of methods and steps that integrated a comprehensive set of qualitative and quantitative analyses to support land-use optimisation in the Kapuas Protected Forest Management Unit. My results can inform decision makers on the options of land-use optimisation and the consequences of their management decisions regarding land-use intensification, nature conservation and local economic conditions. I show how land-use optimisation provides an important step in preventing further land degradation and ecosystem loss.

Muddy waters and the Wadden Sea harbours
Eekelen, E. van; Baptist, M.J. ; Dankers, P. ; Grasmeijer, B.T. ; Kessel, T. van; Maren, D.S. van - \ 2016
- 11 p.
ecosystem services - Building with nature - cohesive sediment - harbour development - Wetland restoration
Several harbours along the Dutch Wadden Sea deal with large siltation rates and limited possibilities for developments. However, development of new harbour activities is needed for these harbours to be able to survive in the long run. As these harbours lie in or close to areas with a protected status, expansion is not straightforward. In this paper we illustrate that harbour development is possible when a Building with Nature approach is used. This approach facilitates a design in which the proactive utilization and/or provision of ecosystem services serves as part of the engineering solution. We introduce four Building with Nature concepts that can be used in harbour designs, i.e. 1) optimising dredging strategies, 2) enhancing saltmarsh development, 3) creating estuarine gradients, and 4) optimising flow patterns. Based on these concepts, three case studies have been identified and pilot projects initiated. In the Port of Harlingen a pilot has started in which an optimized dredging strategy is combined with saltmarsh development. Around the Port of Delfzijl an estuarine gradient is combined with a salt marsh. For the Port of Den Helder a new design was proposed in which the concepts of enhancing salt marsh development, creating estuarine gradients and optimizing flow patterns are combined. Our conclusion is that even in a UNESCO listed site such as the Wadden Sea, harbour development is possible when ecosystem services are used and provided for, and when a Building with Nature concept is put at the heart of an engineering design.
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