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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Regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Raam catchment in the Netherlands - 2016-04 / 2017-04 (corrected)
Benninga, H.F. ; Carranza, C.D. ; Pezij, M. ; Ploeg, M.J. van der; Augustijn, D.C.M. ; Velde, R. van der - \ 2018
agriculture - hydrology - soil moisture - soil temperature - unsaturated zone - water management
Regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Raam catchment in the Netherlands - 2016-04 / 2017-04
Benninga, H.F. ; Carranza, C.D. ; Pezij, M. ; Ploeg, M.J. van der; Augustijn, D.C.M. ; Velde, R. van der - \ 2017
agriculture - hydrology - soil moisture - soil temperature - unsaturated zone - water management
The Raam soil moisture measurement network dataset contains soil moisture and soil temperature measurements for 15 locations in the Raam, which is a 223-km2 river catchment in the southeast of the Netherlands. The network monitors soil moisture in the unsaturated zone for different soil textures and land covers present in the area, and it covers the topographic gradient of the region. At each location we installed Decagon 5TM sensors at depths of 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, 40 cm and 80 cm. The logging time interval is set on 15 minutes. The Raam network is operational since April 2016 and the measurements are on-going.
Hydrological drought and wildfire in the humid tropics
Taufik, Muh - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Remko Uijlenhoet, co-promotor(en): Henny van Lanen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436359 - 99
wildfires - drought - humid tropics - wetlands - hydrology - prediction - water management - natuurbranden - droogte - humide tropen - hydrologie - voorspelling - waterbeheer

Drought is a recurrent hazard, which has happened throughout human history, and it is anticipated to become more severe in multiple regions across the world. Drought occurs in all climate regimes from humid to dry and from hot to cold. Drought is often viewed through its impact on environment and society, including wildfire, which is the topic of this study. The nature of such impacts differs remarkably from region to region. Although drought does not directly cause wildfire, it provides favorable conditions for wildfire ignition and spread. When drought coincides with strong El Niño events in the humid tropics, e.g. Southeast Asia, the impacts worsen through uncontrolled forest fires affecting the global carbon cycle. These include reduction of the carbon stock, intensifying the haze hazard, and other severe socio-economic impacts in Southeast Asia, including areas far away from the burnt area, e.g. Singapore because of fires in Sumatra.

There still remains a serious lack of scientific understanding about the fundamental role of drought in fire-generating processes. Most research, so far, suggests that climate controls wildfire occurrence in the humid tropics. However, this climate-centered approach, which is reflected in contemporary drought-fire related indices, overlooks soil and hydrological processes beneath the surface across the humid tropics. There is also uncertainty about the relative roles of climate variability and human activities in influencing the nature and distribution of drought-related wildfires. Hence, the general objective of this PhD research is to examine how characterization of hydrological drought under natural and human-modified conditions can improve understanding of wildfires in general in the humid tropics.

Chapter 2 discusses the contribution of humans to an increase of hydrological drought severity in the tropical peatland of Southeast Asia. Climate variability induces drought in the region, however, human activities (human-modified drought) may increase its severity. Analyzing long time series of simulated historical groundwater levels from selected regions in Southeast Asia, which were validated against some years with observations, revealed that human interference (through canalization and land-use change) has amplified drought severity. The drought amplification due to human interference was at least double that of climate-induced drought. The amplification is even higher when peatland is converted into acacia plantation. Further, research findings suggest that even if the Paris Agreement target is met, drought risk of peatlands remains high unless sustainable water management receives top priority in the region.

Chapter 3 deals with how an existing, well-known drought-fire related index, i.e. the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), is modified to improve applicability in the humid climate environment of Southeast Asia. The improvement includes: (i) adjustment of the drought factor to the local climate, and (ii) addition of the water table depth as a dynamic factor to fine-tune the drought index. The results indicate that the modified Keetch-Byram Drought Index (mKBDI) performed well in predicting fire hazard. Furthermore, the research identified a critical water table depth, which represents maximum fire hazard (0.85 m for the wetland forest of South Sumatra). Below this value hazard does not increase anymore. The mKBDI could be more widely applied, if pedotransfer functions would be developed that link easily-obtainable soil properties to the parameters of the water table factor.

Chapter 4 shows that wetland transformation (i.e. through canalization and land-use change) not only affects hydrological drought (Chapter 2), but also influences fire behaviour. In Southeast Asia, expansion of agricultural cropland and forest plantations has changed the landscape of wetlands. The findings showed that the transformation into acacia plantation has amplified the fire hazard from 4% (under natural conditions) to 17%. An even higher amplification (40% fire hazard) is expected under poor water management, that is, uncontrolled drainage. The findings derived from this observation-based modeling experiment suggest that improved water management (controlled drainage with higher dry season surface water levels) can minimize fire susceptibility.

Chapter 5 explains the importance of hydrology for fire hazard studies. Borneo is selected to investigate the added value of including hydrological variables in fire hazard prediction approaches. More than 300 statistical models were tested, and the results showed that models that include hydrological variables better predict area burnt than those solely based on climate indicators/indices. Further, modelling evidence shows amplifying wildfires and greater area burnt in response to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) strength, when hydrology is considered. These results highlight the importance of considering hydrological drought for wildfire prediction. I recommend that hydrology should be considered in future studies of the impact of projected ENSO strength, including effects on tropical ecosystems and biodiversity conservation.

The contributions of this thesis research to science are summarized and synthesized in Chapter 6. First, the research identified that fire hazard studies would benefit from adding hydrology, which is reflected in the improved model performance when hydrological variables are integrated. Next, the research revealed that humans play a substantial role in modifying groundwater drought characteristics, hence amplifying the fire hazard in Southeast Asia. Further, the chapter identified several relevant research findings, including the model choice, which should consider the simplicity and the applicability of the model. Another finding demonstrated that controlling canal water level through canal blocking is a practical water management tool to restore degraded wetland. This restored wetland would benefit some endemic species. However, the restored wetland still faces high drought severity. Hence they remain more fire-prone until the un-impacted hydrology condition is achieved. Finally, this research suggest that currently widely-used drought indices (such as FWI) require improvements in their model structure, which means integration of hydrological variables to increase their applicability for fire hazard studies in the humid tropics.

Getting a grip on hydrological and sediment connectivity
Masselink, Rens J.H. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Coen Ritsema; Sjoerd van der Zee, co-promotor(en): Saskia Keesstra; Arnaud Temme. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436342 - 158
hydrology - sediment - land degradation - slopes - geological sedimentation - land management - soil physics - hydrologie - landdegradatie - hellingen - geologische sedimentatie - grondbeheer - bodemfysica

Land degradation is a large problem worldwide, especially in agricultural areas. Between 1-6 billion ha of land worldwide is affected by land degradation. With an increasing world population, more food production is needed and, therefore, more land is converted into agricultural areas. This conversion of land to agricultural areas, in turn, leads to more land degradation. Some common forms of land degradation are desertification, salinization and soil erosion by water. The negative effects of soil erosion have been recognized for a long time. Since the early 20th century, researchers have tried to quantify soil displaced due to water, and to measure and model the efficiency of management strategies.

The implications of problems with upscaling, wrong process representation and equifinality include the difficulty to properly predict sediment sources, pathways and sinks within catchments. These problems then can translate into the implementation of sub-optimal management strategies. To deal with these non-linear processes and the lack of proper representation of water and sediment sources, pathways and sinks, the concept of connectivity was developed. Currently, many definitions of connectivity have been proposed, although the definition most used is that of hydrological connectivity by Pringle (2003): ‘Hydrologic connectivity is the water-mediated transport of matter, energy and organisms within or between elements of the hydrologic cycle’.

A unified theory on what constitutes connectivity and how connectivity should be measured or inferred remains one of the biggest challenges within catchment science. In addition, it is unclear whether connectivity should be an output or an input of a model and if an input, whether this should be added explicitly or implicitly. The main objective of this thesis was, therefore, to assess and quantify hydrological and sediment connectivity in a meaningful way, which can further our understanding of hydrological and sediment transport processes and catchment system dynamics.

The study was carried out in three catchments in Navarre, northern Spain. Two catchments, ‘Latxaga’ and ‘La Tejeria’, are agricultural catchments with sizes of 2.07 km2 and 1.69 km2, respectively. The ‘Oskotz Forestal’ catchment is a (semi-)natural catchment, with a size of 5.05 km2. Land cover in the agricultural catchments is mainly winter wheat and barley, while in the Oskotz catchment it is grassland and forest. Latxaga and La Tejeria are mainly underlain by marls and within La Tejeria some sandstone is also present. The geology in Oskotz is characterised by an alternation of marls and sandy limestone.

In chapter 2, I used networks (graph theory) to characterise and quantify overland flow connectivity dynamics on hillslopes in a humid sub-Mediterranean environment by using a combination of high-resolution digital-terrain models, overland flow sensors and a network approach. Results showed that there are significant differences between overland flow connectivity on agricultural areas and semi-natural shrubs areas. Significant positive correlations between connectivity and precipitation characteristics were found. Significant negative correlations between connectivity and soil moisture were found, most likely due to soil water repellency and/or soil surface crusting. The combination of structural networks and dynamic networks for determining potential connectivity and actual connectivity proved a powerful tool for analysing overland flow connectivity.

In chapter 3, I determined the functioning of hillslope-channel connectivity and the continuation of transport of these sediments in the channel. To determine this functioning, I obtained data on sediment transport from the hillslopes to the channels while simultaneously looking at factors that influence sediment export out of the catchment. For measuring hillslope-channel sediment connectivity, Rare-Earth Oxide (REO) tracers were applied to a hillslope in the Latxaga catchment preceding the winter of 2014-2015. The results showed that during the winter there have been no sediments transported from the hillslope into the channel. Analysis of precipitation data showed that although total precipitation quantities did not differ much from the mean, the precipitation intensities were low. Using a Random Forest (RF) machine learning method, I showed that hillslope-channel connectivity in Latxaga is dominated by sediment mobilisation during large (high intensity) precipitation events. Sediments are for a large part exported during those events. Large events also leave behind large amounts of sediments in and near the channel, which is gradually removed by small events.

In chapter 4 I demonstrated that existing data can be used to assess governing factors of connectivity, and how these factors change over time. Data from three catchments in Navarre, Northern Spain, were used to assess factors that influence hydrologic and sediment connectivity. These factors were used as components in a spatially-lumped linear model for discharge and suspended-sediment yield. Three components of connectivity were distinguished: topographical, biological and soil. Changes in the topographical component for the studied periods were considered relatively small, and, therefore, kept constant. Changes in the biological component were determined using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index. Changes in the soil component were assessed using an Antecedent Precipitation Index. Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficients were between 0.49 through 0.62 for the discharge models and between 0.23 through 0.3 for the sediment-yield models. I recommended applying the model at smaller spatial scales than catchment scale to minimize the lumping of spatial variability in the components.

In chapter 5, the objective was to better understand the implications of model calibration at different spatial scales on the simulation of hydrology and sediment dynamics of an agricultural catchment. I applied the LAPSUS-D model to the Latxaga catchment. The model was calibrated and validated (4 years: 2011-2015) using three datasets at varying spatial scales: hillslope, catchment and the combined dataset (combined-calibrated model). The hillslope-calibrated model showed mainly infiltration-excess overland flow, the catchment-calibrated mainly saturation-excess overland flow at the footslopes and the combined-calibrated model showed saturation-excess overland flow from the midslopes to the footslopes. For hydrology, the combined-calibrated model simulated the large discharge peaks best, while at the hillslope scale, the hillslope-calibrated model performed best. The hillslope-calibrated model produced the highest model efficiencies for sediments, for calibration (0.618) and validation (0.269). The hillslope-calibrated model was the only model that showed observed gully erosion on a high-resolution DEM and displayed channel sediment dynamics. However, absolute quantities of erosion and deposition within the catchment were too high. The results show that modellers need to be aware of problems associated with automatic calibration, over-calibration and not incorporating measured data at multiple spatial scales. We advocate incorporating runoff and sediment tracing data at multiple scales whenever this is possible and to, furthermore, carry out specific measuring campaigns towards this end, ultimately to get a more comprehensive view on hydrological and sediment connectivity within a catchment.

The combination of chapters in this thesis showed that the connectivity concept is useful for a wide range of studies, from hillslope scale to catchment scale. Using the concept, I was able to determine sediment dynamics for a humid-Mediterranean catchment and show that this behaviour is different than previously thought.

Depending of the aim of the study, various concepts of connectivity are useful. Different geologic and climatic settings cause large differences in catchment (sediment) dynamics. It might, therefore, not be necessary, or even possible, to strive for a single, unifying conceptual framework for connectivity. Instead, a collection of frameworks for different settings should be developed. These frameworks should, however, always aim at helping to understand which measurements need to be taken and which type of models and indices should be used for that particular setting.

It is my honest opinion that connectivity is definitely a useful concept to advance our knowledge on water and sediment transport processes further. However, careful consideration is also required as this particular concept will not necessary provide the ultimate explanation and insights in dynamic behaviour within watersheds around the world. The gap between the different spatial and temporal scales is too complex to be bridged with a single concept like connectivity. However, the many studies about connectivity that will be published in the near future will be able to advance knowledge on water and sediment transport processes.

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.

Hydrological controls on salinity exposure and the effects on plants in lowland polders
Stofberg, Sija F. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Sjoerd van der Zee; J.P.M. Witte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431873 - 172
hydrology - lowland areas - soil salinity - temperate climate - fens - surface water - vegetation - fen soils - salinization - polders - hydrologie - laaglandgebieden - bodemzoutgehalte - gematigd klimaat - laagveengebieden - oppervlaktewater - vegetatie - laagveengronden - verzilting

The Dutch lowlands may be subject to salinization, through saline upward seepage and increased salt concentrations in the surface water, which may affect agriculture and nature areas with floating fens.

A simple approach was proposed to estimate root zone salinization in areas with fresh water lenses that float on upward seeping saline groundwater, based on analytical solutions and approximations, which could be used for prioritization.

The hydrology of floating fens was investigated and important processes and parameters were identified, which could be used to estimate root zone exposure to salinity. The flow processes are mostly controlled by the root mat geometry, which determines which part of the root mat floats within the surface water.

A greenhouse experiment showed that salinity may affect the growth of some plant species from floating fens, which implies that salinization may affect species composition in these nature areas.

Preserving Urmia Lake in a changing world : reconciling anthropogenic and climate drivers by hydrological modelling and policy assessment
Shadkam, Somayeh - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Pavel Kabat, co-promotor(en): Fulco Ludwig; Pieter van Oel. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431866 - 140
lakes - hydrology - climatic change - modeling - water resources - water management - environmental protection - iran - meren - hydrologie - klimaatverandering - modelleren - watervoorraden - waterbeheer - milieubescherming

Urmia Lake, in north-western Iran, is an important internationally recognized natural area designated as a RAMSAR site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Over the last 20 years, the surface area of Urmia Lake has declined by 80%. As a result, the salinity of the lake has sharply increased which is disturbing the ecosystems, local agriculture and livelihoods, regional health, as well as tourism, which could amplify economic, political and ethnic tensions in this already volatile region. In response to that, Iranian government established the ten-year “Urmia Lake Restoration Program (ULRP)” proposing six approaches in terms of controlling, protecting, surveying, studying and supplying water from other sources. This study first assessed the main reasons for the decreased inflow using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model, including reservoirs and irrigation modules. The results showed that climate change was the main contributor to this inflow reduction. However, water resources development, particularly water use for irrigation, has played a substantial role as well. In the second step assessed Urmia lake inflow under future climate change and irrigation scenarios. Then, the (VIC) model was forced with bias-corrected climate model outputs for both the lowest (RCP2.6) and highest (RCP8.5) greenhouse-gas concentration scenarios to estimate future water availability. The results showed that the water resources plans are not robust to changes in climate. In other words, if future climate change is limited due to rapid mitigation measures (RCP2.6) the new strategy of reduction of irrigation water use can contribute to preserve Urmia Lake.

The next step of this study assessed the quantitative impacts of ULRP by introducing a constructive framework. The framework depicts real water saving by distinguishing between water withdrawals, depletion, and demand in the context of uncertainties in future demand and supply. The results showed that although the ULRP helps to increase inflow by up to 57% it is unlikely to fully reach its target for three main reasons. The first reason is decreasing return flows due to increasing irrigation efficiency. The second reason is increased depletion which is due to neglecting the fact that agricultural water demand is currently higher than available water for agriculture. The third reason is ignoring the potential impact of climate change. However, there still can be some additional none-quantifiable barriers and challenges that may cause the failure of the restoration plan. Therefore, in the last step, this study used two types of qualitative data to explore these aspects: first, the opinions from 40 experts and the in-situ observation of some of the ULRP implementation practices. The results indicate a number of challenges for the ULRP implementation including the water use regulations and the agricultural measures. In addition, (water) demand-side measures such as crop pattern changes were more supported, as opposed to supply-side measures.

This thesis showed that the sustainable approach to preserve Urmia Lake should incorporate both demand management (considering socioeconomic complexity) and flexible supply management strategies (to deal with uncertainties in climate variability and change) in a participatory approach. To be prepared for the future, also scenarios with reduced inflow into Urmia Lake, either due to climate change or water resources development, need to be considered to deal with considerable amounts of variability in the current system and with future changes in climate and socioeconomic conditions.

Effect of water harvesting techniques on hydrological processes and sediment yield in Northern Ethiopia
Woldegiorgis, Berhane Grum - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Violette Geissen; Coen Ritsema, co-promotor(en): Rudi Hessel; Aad Kessler. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431682 - 156
hydrology - water harvesting - arid zones - semiarid zones - water availability - ethiopia - hydrologie - regenwateropvang - aride klimaatzones - semi-aride klimaatzones - waterbeschikbaarheid - ethiopië

The study was conducted in the semi-arid northern Ethiopia aimed at selecting appropriate water harvesting techniques (WHTs) for implementation. A plot-scale experiment was set up, in the Gule catchment, on a farmland to monitor the effect of in-situ WHTs such as tied ridges and straw mulch mainly on event-based runoff, soil-moisture, and soil and nutrient losses. The off-site effect of WHTs such as check dams and percolation ponds on catchment-scale event-based runoff and sediment yield was also monitored in the Gule catchment (~12 km2) and Misbar sub-catchment (~2.4 km2), northern Ethiopia. First, a decision support approach was developed to aid the selection of WHTs in arid and semi-arid areas. The decision support approach was validated with a case study for WHTs in the upper Geba watershed in northern Ethiopia. Using the decision support methodology, eight potential WHTs were pre-selected for implementation in the watershed. Next, using suitability indicators for WHTs and a GIS-based multi-criteria analysis, suitable areas were identified for three of these WHTs, namely check dams, percolation ponds and bench terraces and suitability maps were generated. The multi-criteria analysis was validated by comparing the predicted suitable areas with the already existing locations of WHTs in the watershed. The result was that 90% of the existing check dams and 93% of the percolation ponds in the upper Geba watershed were correctly identified by the approach. The field study showed runoff reduction by WHTs from farmland between 40 to 88% and soil loss between 60 to 90%. Nutrient loss reduction from farmland by WHTs also ranged between 52 and 86%. Soil-moisture also improved due to the use of the in-situ WHTs. Model-based simulation at the Gule and Misbar outlets using LISEM showed that the current WHTs applied in the catchment are able to decrease event-based runoff by 41 and 45%, respectively. Similarly, sediment yield was reduced at both the Gule outlet and Misbar sub-outlet, by 67 and 55%, respectively. This study has verified that in semi-arid areas, such as the northern Ethiopian highlands, in-situ and catchment-scale WHTs can be used to improve the efficiency of rainwater harvesting and water availability for agricultural uses. Furthermore, these WHTs help to mitigate land degradation by decreasing soil and nutrient losses from farmland and sediment yield from catchments.

The Mekong’s future flows : quantifying hydrological changes and developing adaptation options
Hoang, Long Phi - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Pavel Kabat; Rik Leemans, co-promotor(en): Fulco Ludwig; Michelle van Vliet. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431088 - 159
hydrology - mekong river - modeling - climatic change - socioeconomics - water resources - water use - south east asia - hydrologie - mekong - modelleren - klimaatverandering - sociale economie - watervoorraden - watergebruik - zuidoost-azië

This multidisciplinary study focuses on projecting and adapting to future hydrological changes in the Mekong – an international river of global significance in terms of rapidly increasing human pressures and climate-change vulnerability. A modelling framework was developed to project future changes in both the river flow regime and hydrological extremes (i.e. high/low flows and floods), under multiple scenarios of climate change, irrigation and hydropower developments. Furthermore, we developed a combined quantitative-qualitative approach to develop suitable adaptation measures and strategies to future floods in the Mekong Delta being a key vulnerability hotspot.

Results show that the Mekong’s future flow regime is subjected to substantial changes under climate change and human developments. Climate change will intensify the hydrological cycle, resulting in increasing average river flows (between +5 % and +16%, annually), and more frequent and extreme high flows during the wet season. Flow regime shows substantial alterations in the seasonal flow distributions under the combined impacts of climate change, irrigation expansions and hydropower developments. While dry season flows increase strongly (monthly changes up to +150%), wet season flows show contrasting changes with reductions during June - October (up to -25%) and substantial increases during November – December (up to 36%). A follow-up modelling assessment for the Mekong Delta shows substantial increases in flood hazards under climate change and sea level rise, shown by higher flood frequencies and flood depths across the whole delta. Increasing flood hazards therefore represents a key issue to be addressed in terms of future adaptation. The adaptation appraisal study further shows that effective adaptation requires looking beyond sole infrastructural investments. Instead, technological innovations for flood risk management combined with improved governance and institutional capacities offer ample opportunities to adapt to future hydrological changes.

This study projects substantial future hydrological changes under future climate change and accelerating socioeconomic developments and shows potentially serious consequences for water related safety and sustainable water resources uses and allocations. Furthermore, this study demonstrates amble opportunities to manage future changes through strategic development planning and through adaptive interventions. Insights from this study address the needs for quantified future hydrological changes and emphasize adequate adaptation to the associated risks in an important international river experiencing climate change and rapid socioeconomic developments.

Ecohydrologische systeemanalyse Liefstinghsbroek
Delft, S.P.J. van; Waal, R.W. de; Jansen, P.C. ; Bijlsma, R.J. ; Wegman, R.M.A. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2790) - 133
ecohydrologie - hydrologie - vegetatie - natura 2000 - bossen - graslanden - historische geografie - groningen - ecohydrology - hydrology - vegetation - forests - grasslands - historical geography
Het Lieftinghsbroek in Oost-Groningen bestaat uit gevarieerd loofbos met enkele schraalgraslandjes in het dal van de Ruiten Aa. Het gebied is aangewezen voor Natura 2000 habitattypen bos en schraalland en is tevens bosreservaat. Om meer inzicht te krijgen in het effect van vernattingsmaatregelen in de directe omgeving van het gebied is een ecohydrologisch onderzoek uitgevoerd, waarbij geologisch/bodemkundige, hydrologische en vegetatiekundige gegevens verzameld zijn (uit literatuur en in het veld) en het historisch grondgebruik is beschreven. Voor de bossen is het gebied te nat geworden, of te zuur door het ontbreken van kwelinvloed. Ook voor Blauwgraslanden zijn de mogelijkheden beperkt. Er wordt aanbevolen aanvullende maatregelen te treffen om de sterke vernatting te verminderen door minder neerslagwater vast te houden in het gebied.
Bodemhydrofysische gegevens in BRO en BIS : update 2016
Bakker, G. ; Heinen, M. ; Wesseling, J.G. ; Groot, W.J.M. de; Assinck, F.B.T. ; Hummelink, E.W.J. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2789) - 77
bodemfysica - hydrologie - water - bodem - soil physics - hydrology - soil
Chemisch-fysische schematisering van de bodem voor NHI-waterkwaliteit : naar een nieuwe fysisch-chemische schematisering van de Nederlandse bodem
Bolt, Frank van der; Walvoort, Dennis ; Vries, Folkert de; Hoogland, Tom ; Vroon, Henk ; Groenendijk, Piet ; Renaud, Leo ; Massop, Harry ; Veldhuizen, Ab ; Walsum, Paul van - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2753) - 34
bodem - bodemkwaliteit - hydrologie - bodemeigenschappen - bodemkarteringen - soil - soil quality - hydrology - soil properties - soil surveys
Voor de ontwikkeling van het Nationaal Hydrologisch Instrumentarium-waterkwaliteit is een aanpak opgesteld om de fysisch-chemische schematisering van de bodem in Nederland verder te ontwikkelen. Op korte termijn (2017-2018) is een pragmatische werkwijze nodig om de bodemchemische parameters met bijbehorende schematisering in representatieve eenheden voor de operationele toepassing voor landelijke beleidsstudies te actualiseren. Het gebruik van de huidige fysischchemische karakterisering voor de bodemkaart 1:50.000 vormt de geëigende methode. Op de langere termijn is het de wens om het Nationaal Hydrologisch Instrumentarium-waterkwaliteit ook te kunnen inzetten voor regionale toepassingen. Dit kan alleen als er een gedetailleerde geostatistisch gesimuleerde 3D-bodemkaart aan ten grondslag ligt die recht doen aan regionale variabiliteit van de bodem.
Een nieuwe en handzame lysimeter: eerste stap naar een nationaal netwerk voor de werkelijke verdamping?
Voortman, Bernard ; Witte, J.P. ; Rheenen, Hans van; Bosveld, F. ; Elbers, J.A. ; Bolt, F.J.E. van der; Heijkers, J. ; Hoogendoorn, Jan ; Bolman, A. ; Spek, T. ; Voogt, M. - \ 2016
Stromingen : vakblad voor hydrologen 22 (2016)2. - ISSN 1382-6069 - p. 49 - 63.
hydrologie - neerslag - waterbalans - grondwater - lysimeters - evaporatie - hydrology - precipitation - water balance - groundwater - evaporation
Vrijwel overal op aarde verdampt meer dan de helft van het neerslagwater, ook in Nederland. Toch wordt deze grote verliespost in ons land slechts sporadisch gemeten. Door inspanningen van kennisinstituten, bedrijven en overheid is daarom een lysimeter ontwikkeld. Metingen in 2014 en 2015 op twee locaties vertonen opvallende verschillen, maar ook grote overeenkomsten, met eddy-correlatiemetingen. Schattingen van de verdamping via satellietdata zijn hoger dan de metingen. Tijd daarom, om metingen in het veld te combineren met modellen en waarnemingen vanuit de ruimte
Evaluatie van de ecologische effectiviteit van de houtconstructies in de Snelle loop
Verdonschot, R.C.M. ; Brugmans, Bart ; Moeleker, Mieke ; Verdonschot, P.F.M. - \ 2016
H2O online (2016)27 juli.
ecologie - waterlopen - noord-brabant - hydrologie - macrofauna - monitoring - bemonsteren - hout - aquatische ecosystemen - dood hout - ecology - streams - hydrology - sampling - wood - aquatic ecosystems - dead wood
In de Snelle Loop zijn in 2012 verschillende typen houtconstructies aangebracht. Waterschap Aa en Maas en studenten van de HAS Hogeschool in Den Bosch verrichten sindsdien jaarlijks fysisch-chemische, hydromorfologische en biologische metingen. In deze studie zijn de tot nu toe verzamelde gegevens over de effecten op de levensgemeenschap na drie jaar geëvalueerd. Het hout bleek effect te hebben op de levensgemeenschap, maar grote jaarlijkse verschillen lieten zien dat met name effecten op een groter schaalniveau een sturende rol spelen. Er worden aanbevelingen gedaan voor de opzet van monitoring om onderscheid te kunnen maken tussen effecten op verschillende schaalniveaus
Contrasting biogeomorphic processes affecting salt-marsh development of the Mokbaai, Texel, The Netherlands
Baptist, M.J. ; Groot, A.V. de; Duin, W.E. van - \ 2016
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 41 (2016)9. - ISSN 0197-9337 - p. 1241 - 1249.
Biogeomorphology - sediment supply - dredging - hydrology - Wadden Sea
The growth and decline of salt marshes may be the result of various interacting biogeomorphic processes and external factors. We present a case study of the Mokbaai on the Wadden island of Texel, where we assess the relative importance and the interaction between the biogeomorphic processes and various disturbances. We analysed changes in vegetation composition in the salt marsh and sedimentation–erosion patterns of the adjoining intertidal flat over a 30-year period. Vegetation underwent regression in the lower parts of the marsh, i.e. the low marsh zone changed into pioneer zone. Comparing elevation measurements from 2013 and 1983 showed that the adjoining intertidal flats eroded 15–25 cm. Maintenance dredging of a nearby harbour might negatively impact the sediment balance indicating that the regression of the lower parts of the salt marsh is caused by a lack of sediment. Simultaneously, a change in the local hydrology led to vegetation succession into high and brackish salt marsh, increased organic sediment production and consequently cliff formation. The results from this case study show that, even in a relatively small salt marsh, changes in external factors may set in motion a series of biogeomorphic processes and feedbacks, leading to locally contrasting trends in spatiotemporal development
Effect of water use by smallholder farms in the Letaba basin : a case study using the SIMGRO model
Querner, E.P. ; Froebrich, J. ; Clercq, Willem de; Jovanovic, Nebo - \ 2016
Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-report 2715) - 49 p.
hydrology - models - groundwater - surface water - irrigation - farming systems - limpopo - south africa - hydrologie - modellen - grondwater - oppervlaktewater - irrigatie - bedrijfssystemen - zuid-afrika
For the Letaba basin situated in the South African part of the Limpopo basin, a hydrological study was carried out in order to quantify the effect of smallholder farming on river flows. Important was to study the consequences of improved agricultural systems on the river flows, in particular for the Kruger National Park situated in the lower part of the Letaba basin. The SIMGRO model was used in this study, which integrates groundwater and surface water. The model was calibrated, and furthermore a comparison of measured discharges and groundwater levels against calculated discharges and groundwater levels, revealed that the model is suiTable for practical analysis. For the smallholders farms different scenarios were defined with different levels of crop yield. An increase in crop yield has consequences on more water use as irrigation and crop water use. Because the area covering smallholder farming is only 0.5% of the basin, the effects of changes in water use are relatively small. In a scenario, the weather conditions for 2050 were analysed. This reveals that discharges will go down by 30% on average, which means a substantial reduction of the water resources.
Objective prioritization of intervention areas for the NAGA Foundation in the Kenya Tanzania border area
Maat, H.W. ter; Hutjes, R.W.A. ; Fleskens, L. ; Querner, E.P. ; Klostermann, J.E.M. ; Jaspers, A.M.J. - \ 2016
Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2711) - 67 p.
hydrology - restoration management - climate - soil - geographical information systems - vegetation - models - tanzania - kenya - hydrologie - herstelbeheer - klimaat - bodem - geografische informatiesystemen - vegetatie - modellen
The NAGA foundation aims to establish Hydrologic Corridors, wherein re-greening and restoration of
the landscape interacts with regional rain-bringing wind patterns to intensify the local hydrologic cycle
to a point that a permanently greener and more productive ecosystem can be sustained. The initial
search area, as defined by NAGA, targets the Kenya-Tanzania border region and identified four
possible Hydrological Corridors. This report supports an objective prioritisation of potential
intervention locations in this larger domain. Therefore, readily available, geographically explicit
information on soil, vegetation, hydrology and climate, as well as institutional settings that may affect
the likelihood of success of such projects, were collected and analysed, and some climate-modelling
experiments were performed.
Combining the findings of the four themes: hydrology, soil restoration, climate, and institutions, and
ranking the four potential corridors objectively in order of priority, favours re-greening projects in the
Tanzanian corridors could provide the best starting point: especially the most eastern one. In this
area, many applicable land management options exist in combination with a high potential for
restoring soil organic matter, the highest rainfall recycling potential in the more favourable long rainy
season, and the apparent reliability of the Tanzanian governments at both national- and at local
levels. The GIS data facilitate further focus on this particular corridor in search of specific project
Wild geese of the Yangtze River : their ecology and conservation
Zhang, Y. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Herbert Prins; Fred de Boer; L. Cao. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576049 - 147 p.
geese - anatidae - anser - animal ecology - wildlife management - nature conservation - hydrology - habitat selection - rivers - china - ganzen - dierecologie - wildbeheer - natuurbescherming - hydrologie - habitatselectie - rivieren

Habitat selection is a process in which organisms decide to choose a suitable site for nesting, roosting or foraging. The question where the organisms are, and when they will leave are two of the fundamental questions frequently asked by ecologists. Habitat selection is affected by various abiotic and biotic determinants, varying over different spatial and temporal scales. In addition, an animal’s body size, determining its daily demands and its digestion capacity, plays an important role in foraging and habitat selection. This is because forage quality often decreases with increasing forage quantity. Therefore, herbivores often face a trade-off between forage quality and quantity. Although studies on habitat selection have offered substantial insights into the effect of various ecological factors, myriad effects of habitat and its’ surrounding are still not clearly understood, as former studies concerning this topic normally focus on a single species or a single spatial scale.

Migrating goose species are herbivorous with more or less similar habitat requirements and hence often mix in the field. Studying habitat selection of different goose species is attractive as they are from the same guild but differ in body size. In this thesis, I study the effects of various variables on habitat selection of different Anatidae species over different spatial scales, answering the question how ecological and anthropogenic variables affect Anatidae species habitat selection and population sizes and if these effects vary over different spatial scales.

First, I studied the habitat selection of Anatidae species under the condition with and without interference competition using an experimental approach in Chapter 2. To do this, I offered geese and ducks foraging patches with various swards heights. My results showed that all three species acquired the highest nitrogen intake at relatively tall swards (on 6 or 9 cm, but not on 3 cm) when foraging in single species flocks in the functional response experiment. When they were offered foraging patches differing in sward height with and without competitors, their mean percentage of feeding time did not change, whereas all species increased their percentage of time being vigilant except for the dominant swan goose. All species utilized strategies that increased their peck rate on patches across different sward heights when foraging together with other species, resulting in the same instantaneous and nitrogen intake rate than when foraging in a single species flocks. My results suggest that variation in peck rate over different swards height permits Anatidae herbivores to increase nitrogen intake under competition to compensate for the loss of intake, illustrating the importance of behavioural plasticity in heterogeneous environments when competing with other species for resources.

In Chapter 3, using a correlative field study, I analysed the habitat selection of two differently sized grazing goose species at site level. I found that both species selected lower lying area where the swards became recently exposed, due to receding water levels. However, the smaller species was more sensitive to this elevation gradient. Moreover, sward height negatively affected both species habitat selection with a stronger effect on the smaller species. This result highlighted the importance of body size on facilitating species coexistence and habitat segregation. Not in agreement with the results from most experimental studies, I found that nitrogen content did not influence habitat selection of both species. This conflicting result suggests that additional factors should be carefully considered when applying outcomes from experimental studies to field situations.

In Chapter 4, I studied habitat selection of the two goose species at a lake level by analysing the effect of ecological and anthropogenic variables. My results supported the individual-area relationship as only patch area had a significant effect on both species habitat selection, and other variables that were related to food availability and disturbance, were not significant. In addition, a facilitation effect of grazing livestock on geese habitat selection was detected, indicating that larger grazing herbivores can facilitate geese foraging by removing the taller and lower quality food from the top. As patch area size in wetlands is directly linked to water levels fluctuations, this result demonstrated that modifying hydrological regimes can enlarge the capacity of wetlands for migratory birds.

In Chapter 5, I further expanded my study area to the flood plain level of the Yangtze, testing for the effect of various abiotic and biotic variables on several Anatidae species habitat selection and population trends. I showed that slope and climate factors were the most important ones affecting habitat selection and distribution of Anatidae species. Furthermore, I demonstrated that the current protection policies may not stop the declining population trends but might buffer to some extent against a rapid decline in numbers in wetlands with a higher level protection status. This result points out that the conservation effectiveness is still low and larger conservation efforts are urgently needed to maintain the Anatidae populations, especially in wetlands with a lower level protection status. I recommend several protection measures to stop the decline of Anatidae species in wetlands of the Yangtze River flood plain and I called for more research efforts in this area in particularly, but also at a larger scale, the entire East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

In Chapter 6, I synthesized these results and draw conclusions from the preceding chapters, and highlighted the importance of spatial scales when studying the effect of abiotic and biotic variables on animals’ habitat selection. I also propose to modify hydrological regimes, aimed at creating enhanced habitat and improved forage accessibility conditions over the entire wintering period for herbivorous birds species in the Yangtze River flood plain. In summary, this thesis offers a framework for the effects of various variables on habitat selection and population sizes of herbivorous Anatidae species over different spatial scales, and a scientific basis for policy-makers and managers to enhance the efficiency of conservation actions in wetlands along the Yangtze River flood plain and also for similar ecological systems.

Buisdrainagekaart 2015 : update landelijke buisdrainagekaart op basis van de landbouwmeitellingen van 2012
Massop, H.T.L. ; Schuiling, C. - \ 2016
Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2700) - 53 p.
buisdrainage - drainage - sloten - landbouwtellingen - hydrologie - tile drainage - ditches - agricultural censuses - hydrology
Voor hydrologische berekeningen is informatie over buisdrainage veelal een noodzakelijk gegeven. Op basis van de landbouwmeitellingen 2010 is een landsdekkende kaart met het voorkomen van buisdrainage afgeleid. Bij de meitellingen van 2012 is opnieuw het areaal buisdrainage geïnventariseerd en bovendien zijn enkele aanvullende vragen gesteld over o.a. de diepte van
buisdrainage, het functioneren van buisdrainage en de aanwezigheid van maaiveldgreppels. Door de bedrijfsgegevens m.b.t. areaal buisdrainage te combineren met het BRP-gewassenbestand van 2012, met informatie over de ruimtelijke ligging van de percelen van de landbouwbedrijven, is op bedrijfsniveau buisdrainage toegekend aan gebruikspercelen. Deze kaart is aangevuld op basis van informatie van Top10NL en LGN7. Omdat tevens de draindiepte is geïnventariseerd, zijn twee drainagedieptekaarten gemaakt, nl. op basis van vuistregels en volgens opgave van de boeren. Dit heeft ook geresulteerd is twee drainageweerstandskaarten. Naast genoemde kaarten zijn kaarten gemaakt over functioneren van drainage en van de verspreiding van peilgestuurde drainage en maaiveldgreppels
Meerwaarde van ruimtelijke neerslagdata voor het modelleren van stijghoogtefluctuaties
Ottow, Bouke Pieter ; Schuurmans, H. ; Steijn, T. van - \ 2015
Stromingen : vakblad voor hydrologen 24 (2015)4. - ISSN 1382-6069 - p. 43 - 52.
grondwaterstand - watersystemen - neerslag - grondwater - hydrologie - tijdreeksen - gegevensanalyse - grondwateraanvulling - groundwater level - water systems - precipitation - groundwater - hydrology - time series - data analysis - groundwater recharge
Om het effect van velerlei processen die van invloed zijn op grondwaterstanden goed te kunnen analyseren, is het belangrijk om goed te weten wat de respons van het grondwatersysteem is op de neerslag. Een methode om dat te modelleren is de PIRFICT tijdreeksanalyse geïmplementeerd in het programma Menyanthes. De meest gebruikte databron voor neerslag is de neerslagstations van het KNMI. Waar de neerslagstations soms 5 à 10 km van een peilbuis af staan, zorgen radargebaseerde neerslagproducten voor vlakdekkende informatie. Hiermee wordt een nauwkeuriger beeld van de lokale neerslag verkregen. De invloed van dit verschil op een tijdreeksanalysemodel is onderzocht voor 77 locaties met 109 peilbuisfilters in de Mariapeel (Noord-Brabant/Limburg). De gemiddelde verklaarde variantie van de modellen ging door gebruik van de Nationale Regenradar omhoog van 69,1% naar 76,9%. Het resultaat van deze case studie geeft aan dat het opportuun is om ook elders ruimtelijke informatie van neerslag te gebruiken voor grondwaterstudies.
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