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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Effects of animal type (wild vs. domestic) and diet alfalfa level on intake and digestibility of European adult rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Pinheiro, Victor ; Outor-Monteiro, D. ; Mourão, J.L. ; Cone, J.W. ; Guimaraes Dias Lourenco, Ana - \ 2018
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 102 (2018)1. - ISSN 0931-2439 - p. e460 - e467.
alfalfa level - digestibility - domestic - intake - rabbit - wild
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the level of alfalfa in the diet on feed intake and digestibility of two types of rabbits, wild (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) vs. domestic (O. cuniculus cuniculus). Ten wild (W; mean LW = 927 g) and 10 domestic (D; mean LW = 4,645 g) adult rabbit does were fed ad libitum two pelleted diets: a control diet (C) with 15% of dehydrated alfalfa hay (as feed basis) and a test diet (A) with 36% of dehydrated alfalfa hay (as feed basis), according to a change-over design. Wild does dry matter (DM) intake per kg live weight (BW) was 55% higher (p < .001) than the intake of the D ones (58 g vs. 37 g DM per kg BW respectively). However, no difference (p > .05) was found when intake was expressed per kg0.75 BW (ca. 56 g DM) and tended to be higher (p = .07) in D does when expressed per kg0.67 BW (62 g vs. 55 g DM). Domestic does showed a higher (p < .05) DM, organic matter, crude energy and neutral detergent fibre digestibility (3; 2; 3; 3 percentage points respectively) than W does. The amount of nutrients and energy digested by D does was lower per kg BW (p < .001), similar per kg0.75 BW (p > .05) and tended to be higher per kg0.67 BW (p < .1) than in W does. The diet content of alfalfa did not affect (p > .05) the feed intake nor the diet digestibility. This study suggests that W rabbits exhibit a higher intake per kg BW and a lower digestibility than their D counterparts, which results in similar digestible nutrient and energy intake per kg BW powered to 0.75. The nutritive value of dehydrated alfalfa for rabbits, evaluated through intake and digestibility, seems to be equivalent to their base diets (forage plus concentrate).
Damherten in de Manteling van Walcheren en de kop van Schouwen : beheer van damhertpopulaties in relatie tot beheerdoelstellingen en welzijnsaspecten
Kuiters, A.T. ; Vries, Daisy de - \ 2016
Wageningen : Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2723) - 43 p.
cervus - damherten - wildbeheer - natura 2000 - dierenwelzijn - zeeuwse eilanden - wilde dieren - wild - diergezondheid - fallow deer - wildlife management - animal welfare - wild animals - wildlife - animal health
In dit rapport is nagegaan of eerdere Alterra-rapporten (2001, 2005 en 2009) nog actueel zijn wat betreft de adviezen voor het beheer van damhertpopulaties in de Manteling van Walcheren en de Kop van Schouwen. Tevens is op verzoek van de provincie Zeeland verkend welke ontwikkelingen te verwachten zijn als niet langer wordt ingegrepen in de aantalsontwikkeling van beide damhertpopulaties. Daarbij wordt ingegaan op natuurlijke aantalsregulatie, ecologische draagkracht, welzijnsaspecten en beheer(s)baarheid van niet-gereguleerde damhertpopulaties. Te verwachten effecten van aantalstoename voor de realisatie van instandhoudingsdoelen van beide Natura 2000- gebieden worden beschreven op basis van ervaringen met damhertpopulaties elders.
Positive Selection of Deleterious Alleles through Interaction with a Sex-Ratio Suppressor Gene in African Buffalo: A Plausible New Mechanism for a High Frequency Anomaly
Hooft, W.F. van; Greyling, B.J. ; Getz, W.M. ; Helden, P.D. van; Zwaan, B.J. ; Bastos, A.D.S. - \ 2014
PLoS One 9 (2014)11. - ISSN 1932-6203
heterozygosity-fitness correlations - bovine tuberculosis - syncerus-caffer - inbreeding depression - population-levels - complex traits - software - disease - wild - flow
Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite being associated with low body condition, appears to impart a relative reproductive advantage, and which is stably maintained through a sex-ratio suppressor. Apparently, this sex-ratio suppressor prevents fertility reduction that generally accompanies sex-ratio distortion. We hypothesize that this body-condition-associated reproductive advantage increases the fitness of alleles that negatively affect male body condition, causing genome-wide positive selection of these alleles. To investigate this we genotyped 459 buffalo using 17 autosomal microsatellites. By correlating heterozygosity with body condition (heterozygosity-fitness correlations), we found that most microsatellites were associated with one of two gene types: one with elevated frequencies of deleterious alleles that have a negative effect on body condition, irrespective of sex; the other with elevated frequencies of sexually antagonistic alleles that are negative for male body condition but positive for female body condition. Positive selection and a direct association with a Y-chromosomal sex-ratio suppressor are indicated, respectively, by allele clines and by relatively high numbers of homozygous deleterious alleles among sex-ratio suppressor carriers. This study, which employs novel statistical techniques to analyse heterozygosity-fitness correlations, is the first to demonstrate the abundance of sexually-antagonistic genes in a natural mammal population. It also has important implications for our understanding not only of the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of sex-ratio distorters and suppressors, but also of the functioning of deleterious and sexually-antagonistic alleles, and their impact on population viability
Differences in olfactory species recognition in the females of two Australian songbird species
Krause, E.T. ; Brummel, C. ; Kohlwey, S. ; Baier, M.C. ; Müller, C. ; Bonadonna, F. ; Caspers, B.A. - \ 2014
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68 (2014)11. - ISSN 0340-5443 - p. 1819 - 1827.
finches taeniopygia-guttata - zebra finches - odor recognition - kin recognition - wild - birds - nest - cues - discrimination - speciation
Although birds have recently been shown to possess olfactory abilities and to use chemical cues in communication, limited effort has been made to demonstrate the use of odorants in social contexts. Even less is known regarding the use of odorants in species recognition. The ability to recognize conspecifics should be more pronounced in social species. This study investigated the importance of olfactory cues in species recognition in females of two estrildid finch species with different levels of sociality. Combining odor preference tests with chemical analyses, we surveyed whether female zebra finches and diamond firetails are able to distinguish between the species based on volatile traits and whether individuals exhibit species-specific differences in body odorants. Zebra finches are more social than diamond firetails; nevertheless, both species have an overlapping distribution area. Applying an experimental Y-maze paradigm, we showed that zebra finches can use differences in their species odor fingerprints and displayed a significant preference for the odor of conspecifics over that of heterospecifics, whereas diamond firetails did not reveal a preference. Using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, we demonstrated that body odorants of the two species were significantly different in relative composition. This finding demonstrates the potential importance of olfactory cues in species recognition, at least in social bird species. Even these two closely related species displayed remarkable differences in their responsiveness to similar chemical cues, which might be caused by species-specific differences in ecology, physiology, or evolution. Keywords Songbird . Zebra finch . Taeniopygia guttata . Diamond firetail . Stagonopleura guttata . Sociality . Olfaction . Smell . Scent . Olfactory fingerprint
Social networking in territorial great tits: slow explorers have the least central social network positions
Snijders, L. ; Rooij, E.P. van; Burt, J.M. ; Hinde, C.A. ; Oers, K. van; Naguib, M. - \ 2014
Animal Behaviour 98 (2014). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 95 - 102.
risk-taking behavior - parus-major - avian personalities - exploratory-behavior - reproductive success - prisoners-dilemma - dear enemies - neighbors - wild - defense
In various animal species individuals differ consistently in their behaviour, often referred to as personality. In several species these personality differences also correlate with differences in social behaviour. This is important as the social environment is a key selection pressure in many animal populations, mediated, for example, via competition or access to social information. Using social network analysis, recent studies have furthered our understanding of the role of personality in the social environment, usually by focusing on swarming or flocking populations. However, social associations in such populations are fundamentally different from those in territorial populations, where individuals meet less frequently and where the costs and benefits of spatial associations differ from those for swarming or flocking species. In this study we therefore tested whether social network position is related to individual differences in exploration behaviour, an established measure of an avian personality trait, using a wild, territorial, personality-typed great tit, Parus major, population. By means of novel, large-scale, automated tracking (Encounternet) we show, while controlling for average territory distance, that slower exploring males had less central social network positions. Yet, slower explorers overall did not travel shorter distances than faster explorers, indicating that a less central social network position was not merely a consequence of lower activity. Finally, males with less central social network positions did not have reduced breeding success compared to males with more central positions. Our results suggest that territorial individuals influence the structuring of their own social environment in relation to their personality. This is relevant, because the establishment of social relations and familiarity with possible competitors is predicted to be important in many territorial populations.
New insights into domestication of carrot from root transcriptome analyses
Rong, J. ; Lammers, Y. ; Strasburg, J.L. ; Schidlo, N.S. ; Ariyurek, Y. ; Jong, T.J. de; Klinkhamer, P.G.L. ; Smulders, M.J.M. ; Vrieling, K. - \ 2014
BMC Genomics 15 (2014). - ISSN 1471-2164 - 15 p.
daucus-carota l. - nucleotide polymorphism - wild - populations - inference - sativus - genome - diversity - sequences - selection
Background - Understanding the molecular basis of domestication can provide insights into the processes of rapid evolution and crop improvement. Here we demonstrated the processes of carrot domestication and identified genes under selection based on transcriptome analyses. Results - The root transcriptomes of widely differing cultivated and wild carrots were sequenced. A method accounting for sequencing errors was introduced to optimize SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) discovery. 11,369 SNPs were identified. Of these, 622 (out of 1000 tested SNPs) were validated and used to genotype a large set of cultivated carrot, wild carrot and other wild Daucus carota subspecies, primarily of European origin. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that eastern carrot may originate from Western Asia and western carrot may be selected from eastern carrot. Different wild D. carota subspecies may have contributed to the domestication of cultivated carrot. Genetic diversity was significantly reduced in western cultivars, probably through bottlenecks and selection. However, a high proportion of genetic diversity (more than 85% of the genetic diversity in wild populations) is currently retained in western cultivars. Model simulation indicated high and asymmetric gene flow from wild to cultivated carrots, spontaneously and/or by introgression breeding. Nevertheless, high genetic differentiation exists between cultivated and wild carrots (Fst =0.295) showing the strong effects of selection. Expression patterns differed radically for some genes between cultivated and wild carrot roots which may be related to changes in root traits. The up-regulation of water-channel-protein gene expression in cultivars might be involved in changing water content and transport in roots. The activated expression of carotenoid-binding-protein genes in cultivars could be related to the high carotenoid accumulation in roots. The silencing of allergen-protein-like genes in cultivated carrot roots suggested strong human selection to reduce allergy. These results suggest that regulatory changes of gene expressions may have played a predominant role in domestication. Conclusions - Western carrots may originate from eastern carrots. The reduction in genetic diversity in western cultivars due to domestication bottleneck/selection may have been offset by introgression from wild carrot. Differential gene expression patterns between cultivated and wild carrot roots may be a signature of strong selection for favorable cultivation traits.
Onderzoek naar inheemse wilde fauna, verslag over 2013
Tulden, P.W. van - \ 2014
Lelystad : Central Veterinary Institute (Rapport / Central Veterinairy Institute 14/CVI0014) - 31
fauna - wild - vogels - vissen - zoogdieren - toxicologie - pathologie - doodsoorzaken - monitoring - wildlife - birds - fishes - mammals - toxicology - pathology - causes of death
Met betrekking tot een aantal opgedragen Wettelijke Onderzoekstaken (WOT) treedt het Central Veterinairy Institute op als Nationaal Referentie Laboratorium (NRL) voor aangifteplichtige virale, parasitaire, protozoaire en bacteriële ziekten, TSE’s en antimicrobiële resistentie. Dit verslag geeft een overzicht van onderzoek aan de dieren, die opgestuurd zijn naar het CVT. Enkele cijfers: 137 inzendingen in het kader van het wettelijke wilde fauna onderzoek. Maar ook 188 kadavers, 6 levende watervogels en 27 monsters verdacht materiaal. De kadavers zijn te verdelen in 65 roofvogels, 70 watervogels, 13 overige vogels, 26 zoogdieren en 14 vissen. Hier kon van 115 van de 188 kadavers de doodsoorzaak worden achterhaald. De meest vastgestelde doodsoorzaken zijn trauma, vergiftiging, uitputting, afschot en botulisme, afhankelijk van de diercategorie.
MC1R Genotype and Plumage Colouration in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Population Structure Generates Artefactual Associations
Hoffman, J.L. ; Krause, E.T. ; Lehmann, K. ; Krüger, O. - \ 2014
PLoS One 9 (2014)1. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 9 p.
genetic-basis - receptor gene - birds - polymorphism - evolution - mice - wild - ornaments - loci
Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.
Pig Domestication and Human-Mediated Dispersal in Western Eurasia Revealed through Ancient DNA and Geometric Morphometrics
Ottoni, C. ; Flink, L.G. ; Evin, A. ; Georg, C. ; Cupere, B. De; Neer, W. van; Bartosiewicz, L. ; Linderholm, A. ; Barnett, R. ; Peters, J. ; Decorte, R. ; Waelkens, M. ; Vanderheyden, N. ; Ricaut, F.X. ; Cakirlar, C. ; Cevik, O. ; Hoelzel, A.R. ; Mashkour, M. ; Karimlu, A.F.M. ; Seno, S.S. ; Daujat, J. ; Brock, F. ; Pinhasi, R. ; Hongo, H. ; Perez-Enciso, M. ; Rasmussen, M. ; Frantz, L.A.F. ; Megens, H.J.W.C. ; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Groenen, M.A.M. ; Arbuckle, B. ; Benecke, N. ; Vidarsdottir, U.S. ; Burger, J. ; Cucchi, T. ; Dobney, K. ; Larson, G. - \ 2013
Molecular Biology and Evolution 30 (2013)4. - ISSN 0737-4038 - p. 824 - 832.
origins - history - agriculture - shape - wild - expansions - likelihood - insights - farmers - europe
Zooarcheological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated in Southwest Asia ~8,500 BC. They then spread across the Middle and Near East and westward into Europe alongside early agriculturalists. European pigs were either domesticated independently or more likely appeared so as a result of admixture between introduced pigs and European wild boar. As a result, European wild boar mtDNA lineages replaced Near Eastern/Anatolian mtDNA signatures in Europe and subsequently replaced indigenous domestic pig lineages in Anatolia. The specific details of these processes, however, remain unknown. To address questions related to early pig domestication, dispersal, and turnover in the Near East, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA and dental geometric morphometric variation in 393 ancient pig specimens representing 48 archeological sites (from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the Medieval period) from Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Our results reveal the first genetic signatures of early domestic pigs in the Near Eastern Neolithic core zone. We also demonstrate that these early pigs differed genetically from those in western Anatolia that were introduced to Europe during the Neolithic expansion. In addition, we present a significantly more refined chronology for the introduction of European domestic pigs into Asia Minor that took place during the Bronze Age, at least 900 years earlier than previously detected. By the 5th century AD, European signatures completely replaced the endemic lineages possibly coinciding with the widespread demographic and societal changes that occurred during the Anatolian Bronze and Iron Ages.
A comparison of microsatellites and SNPs in parental assignment in the GIFT strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus): The power of exclusion
Trong, T.Q. ; Bers, N.E.M. van; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Dibbits, B.W. ; Komen, J. - \ 2013
Aquaculture 388 (2013). - ISSN 0044-8486 - p. 14 - 23.
genotyping errors - computer-program - empirical-evaluation - natural-populations - markers - wild - inference - paternity - sibship - salmon
In this study, parental assignment was studied in the 10th generation of a pedigreed selected Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) population (GIFT) and their offspring, by comparing two types of molecular markers, microsatellites and SNPs, using an exclusion-based (Vitassign) and a likelihood-based (Cervus) method. For the experiment, G10 parents were divided in 4 groups (cohorts) and allowed to produce offspring by natural group mating. In total 173 offspring were tested against 238 parents, using either 12 microsatellites (PIC = 0.639; exclusion power 68.0%) or 122 SNPs (PIC = 0.341; exclusion power 99.9%). In this study, more than half of the candidate parents were either full- or half-sibs with other parents. Furthermore, 13.8% of the parents died before being sampled for DNA. When offspring were assigned to parents in the same cohort, using Vitassign, for microsatellites, allowing up to 2 mismatches, 37.6% offspring got unique assignments, 45.1% got multiple assignments, and 17.3% were not assigned; for SNPs with up to 15 mismatches allowed, 83.8% offspring got unique assignments while 13.9% got multiple assignments. Only 2.3% were not assigned. Using Cervus, for microsatellites, the mean ‘strict’ (> 95% CF) assignment rate across the 4 cohorts was 18%, the ‘relax’ (80–95% CF) assignment rate was 43%, and 39% were not assigned; for SNPs, 39% ‘strict’ assignments were obtained (mean across 4 cohorts); the remaining offspring were not assigned. In general assignment rates were higher when cohort offspring were assigned to all parents combined, irrespective of method (Vitassign or Cervus) or marker used. However, consistency of assignments between microsatellites and SNPs was low: 28% with Vitassign and 16% with Cervus. Consistency of assignments between Cervus and Vitassign was high with SNPs (65%), but was low with microsatellites (31%). We conclude that missing parents and relatedness among candidate parents resulted in low assignment rates. Furthermore, low exclusion power of the microsatellite set resulted in low assignment rates and multiple parent pair assignments irrespective of method used. Exclusion methods and likelihood-based methods can be equally good for parental assignments, providing that good marker sets with high exclusion power are available.
African wildlife and people : finding solutions where equilibrium models fail
Poshiwa, X. - \ 2013
University. Promotor(en): Herbert Prins; Ekko van Ierland, co-promotor(en): Ignas Heitkonig; Rolf Groeneveld. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737618 - 173
wild - extensieve weiden - evenwicht - droogte - mensen - herbivoren - vee - verstoring - ecologische verstoring - zimbabwe - afrika - wildlife - rangelands - equilibrium - drought - people - herbivores - livestock - disturbance - ecological disturbance - africa

Grazing systems, covering about half of the terrestrial surface, tend to be either equilibrial or non-equilibrial in nature, largely depending on the environmental stochasticity.The equilibrium model perspective stresses the importance of biotic feedbacks between herbivores and their resource, while the non-equilibrium model perspective stresses stochastic abiotic factors as the primary drivers of vegetation and herbivore dynamics.In semi-arid and arid tropical systems, environmental stochasticity is rather high, making the systems essentially non-equilibrial in nature, suggesting that feedback between livestock and vegetation is absent or at least severely attenuated for much of the time. In southern Africa, range and livestock management however, has been built around the concept of range condition class and the practices of determining carrying capacities and manipulating livestock numbers and grazing seasons to influence range condition. This management approach is derived from the equilibrium or climax concept of Clementsian succession. The erratic and variable rainfall in many pastoral areas of Africa poses a fundamental challenge to this conventional notion of carrying capacity in range management. This realization has caused a shift towards models that embrace non-equilibrium dynamics in ecosystems. The main concern is that application of the range model may contribute to mismanagement and degradation of some rangeland ecosystems. However, only a few studies in rangelands have empirically tested the non-equilibrium hypothesis leading to the debate on rangeland dynamics remaining unresolved.

Across the savannas of Africa, grasslands are being changed into cultivation due to increasing human population, at the expense of decreasing wildlife populations. African savannas however, still contain pockets of wilderness surviving as protected areas, but even there, species richness of large mammals is decreasing. The inevitable result is the loss of most of the wild plants and animals that occupy these natural habitats, at the same time threatening the well-being of the inhabitants of these savannas. Hence, to facilitate the management of arid and semi-arid savannas for both biological conservation and sustainable use (improving human welfare) an improved understanding of the complex dynamics of these savannas is critical. Furthermore, it is widely recognized that a high level of uncertainty typifies the lives of rural farmers in developing countries.Non-equilibrium dynamics bring additional uncertainty and risk to the system.However, attempts to understand efficient and sustainable ways to improve biodiversity and human welfare in systems showing non-equilibrium dynamics have been rare.The behaviour of non-equilibrium systems is characterised as more dynamic and less predictable than equilibrium systems. Therefore, non-equilibrium dynamics in dryland ecosystems present a different kind of management problem for both livestock and wildlife systems since their management has been dictated by the equilibrium assumption. Additionally, loss of biodiversity is regarded today as one of the great unsolved environmental problems.Faced with this biodiversity crisis, the challenge is to find ways to respond in a flexible way to deal with uncertainty and surprises brought about by non-equilibrium dynamics.

In this thesis I use a bioeconomic approach in analyzing the implications of non-equilibrium dynamics for the efficient and sustainable management of wildlife and livestock in dryland grazing systems. The study area for this thesis is southeastern lowveld of Zimbabwe.

In chapter 2, I investigate the role of abiotic and biotic factors in determining plant species composition. While early studies emphasized the importance of edaphic and environmental controls on plant species distribution and spatial variation in vegetation composition, recent studies have documented the importance of both natural and anthropogenic disturbances in this respect. At a regional scale vegetation structure (i.e., grass/tree ratio) and species composition in savannas is largely determined by precipitation, whereas at the nested landscape-scale vegetation structure and composition is more prominently determined by geologic substrate, topography, fire and herbivory. Chapter 2, shows that at the landscape scale, abiotic variables such as rainfall and soil fertility override the effect of humans and livestock on the herbaceous and the woody plant composition.

Then, in Chapter 3, I ask the question whether there is something like non-equilibrium and what are the impacts of such dynamics on cattle herd dynamics? I studied the relevance of non-equilibrium theory to my study area by testing whether annual changes in cattle numbers showed the presence of crashes and if so, what were the factors best explaining those crashes and what age and sex classes of cattle were most vulnerable to such crashes? Chapter 3 showed that crashes in annual cattle numbers were evident and were best explained by rainfall and NDVI and their lags. Immigration i.e., movement in of animals was also an important factor in years when rainfall was below the threshold and so it was a possible source of cattle recovery after a crash together with high calving rates. In years when rainfall was above the rainfall threshold, NDVI explained more variation in annual changes of livestock. The impacts of crashes were greater on calves than other cattle age categories thus explaining why there are legacy effects (lags) in cattle numbers that can only partly be offset by cattle purchases from elsewhere because of poverty or lack of surplus stock elsewhere. These findings make the southeastern lowveld system to be dominated by non-equilibrium dynamics.

The welfare of local people is the issue that I focused on in my economic section of this thesis (Chapters 4 and 5). I addressed the question of how risks of fluctuations in household income can be managed in order to improve human welfare. The expectation was that in systems exhibiting non-equilibrium dynamics people can improve their welfare by exploiting a combination of wildlife and agricultural activities (livestock and cropping) in their attempts to reduce fluctuations in their annual welfare. This would be possible if the risks in wildlife and agro-pastoral systems were sufficiently different. Exploiting different sources of income requires efficient allocation of resources. The most prominent resource is land and land varies spatially in quality and ecological resources require spatial connectivity. Therefore the spatial dimension is important in this allocation.

In Chapter 4 I asked the question: To what extent can wildlife income buffer rural households’ incomes against fluctuations in rainfall? I studied the extent to which wildlife derived income can buffer local households’ income against fluctuations due to rainfall. The addition of wildlife as an asset for rural farmers’ portfolio of assets showed that wildlife can be used as a hedge asset to offset risk from agricultural production without compromising on return. However, the power of diversification using wildlife is limited because revenues from agriculture and wildlife assets were positively correlated. However, the correlation was very weak (only 0.4 and the explained variance thus only be 16 %) which gives ample scope for buffering. Therefore, revenues from wildlife have potential to reduce household income fluctuations due to drought, but only to a limited extent.

In Chapter 5 the question was: From a theoretical perspective, can wildlife income have an insurance value to local people? I used a modelling approach to study the extent to which wildlife income offers an insurance value to local people against fluctuating annual rainfall. Findings did not support the common assertion that wildlife can offer insurance to local people against income fluctuations due to rainfall fluctuations. The failure by wildlife income to offer insurance value to local people could be explained by high costs of harvesting the wildlife resource and high densities of both human and livestock populations in southeastern lowveld.As corollary I draw the conclusion that wildlife cannot pay its way in these rangelands as long as there are high densities of people as shown in Chapter 5. Definitely wildlife income becomes insufficient if long-term sustainability of wildlife resources is considered.

Chapter 6, finally synthesizes the conclusions that can be drawn from the preceding chapters and puts the issues addressed in a broader context. In summary, this thesis shows evidence of non-equilibrium dynamics in semi-arid grazing systems. Furthermore, the small contribution of wildlife income to local people’s welfare goes to show the widely shared view that financial rewards generated through integrated conservation and development programmes such as CAMPFIRE have generally been seen as insufficient. This led me to suggest that if we have a moral or ethical obligation to protect wildlife species, then an important way for people to meet their aspirations economically was suggested by Malthus.

Behavioral Ecology of Captive Species: Using Behavioral Adaptations to Assess and Enhance Welfare of Nonhuman Zoo Animals
Koene, P. - \ 2013
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 16 (2013)4. - ISSN 1088-8705 - p. 360 - 380.
reintroduction programs - natural behavior - breeding success - conservation - stress - wild - farm - population - management - elephants
This project aimed to estimate a species' adaptations in nature and in captivity, assess welfare, suggest environmental changes, and find species characteristics that underlie welfare problems in nonhuman animals in the zoo. First, the current status of zoo animal welfare assessment was reviewed, and the behavioral ecology approach was outlined. In this approach, databases of species characteristics were developed using (a) literature of natural behavior and (b) captive behavior. Species characteristics were grouped in 8 functional behavioral ecological fitness-related categories: space, time, metabolic, safety, reproductive, comfort, social, and information adaptations. Assessments of the strength of behavioral adaptations in relation to environmental demands were made based on the results available from the literature. The databases with literature at the species level were coupled with databases of (c) behavioral observations and (d) welfare assessments under captive conditions. Observation and welfare assessment methods were adapted from the animal on the farm realm and applied to zoo species. It was expected that the comparison of the repertoire of behaviors in natural and captive environments would highlight welfare problems, provide solutions to welfare problems by environmental changes, and identify species characteristics underlying zoo animal welfare problems.
Transfrontier Conservation Areas: people living on the edge
Andersson, J.A. ; Garine-Wichatitsky, M. de; Cumming, D.H.M. ; Dzingirai, V. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2013
Oxon, UK : Routledge - ISBN 9781849712088 - 216
beschermingsgebieden - grensgebieden - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - samenleving - sociologie - toerisme - wild - wildbescherming - mensen - zuidelijk afrika - conservation areas - frontier areas - natural resources - sustainability - society - sociology - tourism - wildlife - wildlife conservation - people - southern africa
This book focuses on the forgotten people displaced by, or living on the edge of, protected wildlife areas. It moves beyond the grand 'enchanting promise' of conservation and development across frontiers, and unfounded notions of TFCAs as integrated social-ecological systems. Peoples' dependency on natural resources – the specific combination of crop cultivation, livestock keeping and natural resource harvesting activities – varies enormously along the conservation frontier, as does their reliance on resources on the other side of the conservation boundary. Hence, the studies in this book move from the dream of eco-tourism-fuelled development supporting nature conservation and people towards the local realities facing marginalized people, living adjacent to protected areas in environments often poorly suited to agriculture.
The numbers game in wildlife conservation: changeability and framing of large mammal numbers in Zimbabwe
Gandiwa, E. - \ 2013
University. Promotor(en): Herbert Prins; Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): Ignas Heitkonig. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461737465 - 204
wildbescherming - zoogdieren - jachtdieren - populatiedynamica - populatie-ecologie - populatiebiologie - jagen - wild - zimbabwe - wildlife conservation - mammals - game animals - population dynamics - population ecology - population biology - hunting - wildlife

Wildlife conservation in terrestrial ecosystems requires an understanding of processes influencing population sizes. Top-down and bottom-up processes are important in large herbivore population dynamics, with strength of these processes varying spatially and temporally. However, up until recently the role of human-induced top-down and bottom-up controls have received little attention. This is despite the fact that almost all terrestrial ecosystems are influenced by human activities thereby likely altering the natural control of animal populations. Therefore, in this thesis, the role of natural and human-induced controls in influencing large herbivore populations and how human controls (i.e., policy instruments, incentives and provisions) influence human activities and wildlife conservation in a semi-arid African savanna ecosystem are investigated. This study primarily focuses on Gonarezhou National Park (hereafter, Gonarezhou), Zimbabwe and adjacent areas. Zimbabwe experienced an economic crisis and political instability between 2000 and 2008 following the land reforms that started in 2000 which were widely covered in the mass media.

The results indicated a weak synchrony in rainfall and drought occurrence (natural bottom-up process) in areas within the same “climatic” region, and variable responses of large herbivore species to the 1992 severe drought with most large herbivore species’ populations declining following the 1992 drought and increasing thereafter. Therefore, droughts are important in influencing large herbivore populations in semi-arid ecosystems. Furthermore, the results showed variation in the intensity of illegal hunting (top-down human control) which was associated with variation in law enforcement efforts in Gonarezhou. Law enforcement efforts in Gonarezhou were strengthened in 2004 following the employment of additional patrol rangers which resulted in increased park coverage and a decline in recorded illegal activities. Thus, the results show that political instability and economic collapse does not necessarily lead to increased illegal hunting in situations where policy instruments, such as laws, are enforced.

A higher perceived effectiveness of Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE - a community-based program that allows local people living in communal areas near protected areas in Zimbabwe to financially benefit from using the wildlife resources within their area) was partly associated with a decline in human-wildlife conflicts. In addition, local communities with higher perceived effectiveness of CAMPFIRE programs partly had more favourable attitudes towards problematic wild animals. Moreover, the results showed that in the 1990s, the majority of newspaper articles highlighted that wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe was largely successful. However, following the land reforms that occurred in 2000, the international media lost interest in wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by a sharp decline in published articles. Also, the frames changed in the international media with the “political unrest and land reform” blame frame becoming more dominant, and nature conservation was portrayed more negatively. The change in media frames shows that there was a spill-over effect from the political domain into wildlife conservation following Zimbabwe’s land reforms in 2000.

Overall, this study provides new insights on the processes influencing large herbivore population dynamics in human-dominated semi-arid savanna ecosystems which consist of diverse wildlife management regimes and also illuminates the importance of media framing and (mis-)representation of wildlife conservation issues following political instability, crisis or societal unrest. With these findings, it is concluded that natural bottom-up processes (e.g., droughts) influence large herbivore population dynamics whereas policy instruments, incentives, provisions and societal frames mainly have a top-down effect on wild large herbivore populations in savanna ecosystems.

Lifelines for Ramat Hanadiv : an analysis of the necessity for ecological corridors
Sluis, T. van der; Eupen, M. van - \ 2013
Wageningen : Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2423)
ecologische hoofdstructuur - landschapsecologie - ecologie - modellen - wild - wildbescherming - israël - ecological network - landscape ecology - ecology - models - wildlife - wildlife conservation - israel
This report presents the results of an analysis of the ecological network for Ramat Hanadiv. We used the LARCH Landscape ecological model to assess, first, the long-term viability of the wildlife populations of Ramat Hanadiv, and secondly, to identify where the most important landscape connections or corridors are situated. Analysis shows that almost no species are viable in Ramat Hanadiv alone; almost all require some exchange with surrounding populations. The exchange with surrounding areas is therefore essential for biodiversity in Ramat Hanadiv. Specific de-fragmentation measures are important. The best measure to improve viability is to ensure that a corridor eastward is maintained. The best location for the corridor is most likely through the industrial zone. A potential corridor through the Taninim River would be another option. This would likely require further study and a significantly larger investment of resources.
QTL analysis reveals the genetic architecture of domestication traits in Crisphead lettuce
Hartman, Y. ; Hooftman, D.A.P. ; Schranz, M.E. ; Tienderen, P.H. van - \ 2013
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 60 (2013)4. - ISSN 0925-9864 - p. 1487 - 1500.
lactuca-serriola asteraceae - marker-assisted selection - arabidopsis-thaliana - plant domestication - crop domestication - sativa l. - wild - loci - sunflower - evolution
The genetic architecture of crop domestication is generally characterized by three trends: relatively few genomic regions with major QTL effects are involved, QTL are often clustered, and alleles derived from the crop do not always contribute to the crop phenotype. We have investigated the genetic architecture of lettuce using a recombinant inbred line population from a cross between a crop Lactuca sativa (‘Salinas’) and its wild relative L. serriola. Few genomic regions with major QTL, plus various intermediate QTL, largely control the transition from wild to cultivated Crisphead lettuce. Allelic effects of all major QTL were in the expected direction, but there were intermediate QTL where the crop contributed to the wild phenotype and vice versa. We found two main regions with clusters of QTL, one on linkage group 3, where the crop allele induced lower seed output, another on linkage group 7, where the crop allele caused a delay in flowering time. Potentially, knowledge of genetic changes due to the domestication could be relevant for the chance that a transgene inserted in a crop genome will spread to wild relatives due to hitchhiking effects. If a transgene would be inserted in one of these regions, background selection on the crop alleles may lead to a reduced fitness of hybrids with the transgene. QTL research on the effects of domestication genes can thus indicate regions in the crop genome that are less likely to introgress, although these still need to be verified under field conditions.
Analysis of average standardized SSR allele size supports domestication of soybean along the Yellow River
Li, Y.H. ; Zhang, C. ; Smulders, M.J.M. ; Li, W. ; Ma, Y.S. ; Xu, Qu ; Chang, R.Z. ; Qiu, Li-Juan - \ 2013
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 60 (2013)2. - ISSN 0925-9864 - p. 763 - 776.
genetic diversity - microsatellite evolution - directional evolution - glycine-max - landraces - markers - origin - maize - wild - length
Soybean (Glycine max) was domesticated in China from its wild progenitor G. soja. The geographic region of domestication is, however, not exactly known. Here we employed the directional evolution of SSR (microsatellite) repeats (which mutate preferentially into longer alleles) to analyze the domestication process and to infer the most ancestral soybean landraces. In this study, the average standardized SSR allele sizes across 42 SSR loci in 62 accessions of G. soja were determined, and compared with those in 1504 landraces of G. max, collected from all over China and representing the diversity in the gene bank. The standardized SSR allele size in the landraces (0.009) was significantly (P = 8.63 × 10-58) larger than those in G. soja (-0.406). Pairwise comparisons between inferred clusters and sub-clusters of Chinese landraces indicated that the average standardized SSR allele size also increased with the further differentiation of landraces populations. Spring-sowed types had the shortest size, followed by summer-sown types, while the sub-cluster of autumn-sown type had the largest length. The spring-sowed landraces located near the middle region along the Yellow River had the smallest allele sizes, indicating that this is the most ancestral population of cultivated soybean. We concluded that soybean was most likely domesticated in the middle region of the Yellow River in central China, initially as a spring-sown type.
Baseline haptoglobin concentrations are repeatable and predictive of certain aspects of a subsequent experimentally-induced inflammatory response
Matson, K.D. ; Horrocks, N.P.C. ; Versteegh, M.A. ; Tieleman, B.I. - \ 2012
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. A, Molecular and Integrative Physiology 162 (2012)1. - ISSN 1095-6433 - p. 7 - 15.
greenfinches carduelis-chloris - long-term repeatability - tits parus-major - great tits - immune challenge - metabolic-rate - blood parameters - innate immunity - tropical birds - wild
Ecologists sometimes assume immunological indices reflect fundamental attributes of individuals—an important assumption if an index is to be interpreted in an evolutionary context since among-individual variation drives natural selection. Yet the extent to which individuals vary over different timescales is poorly understood. Haptoglobin, an acute phase protein, is an interesting parameter for studying variability as it is easily quantified and concentrations vary widely due to the molecule's role in inflammation, infection and trauma. We quantified haptoglobin in pigeon plasma samples collected over fourteen months and calculated repeatability to evaluate if haptoglobin concentration is a distinctive trait of individuals. We also explored the capacity of baseline haptoglobin concentrations to predict an array of physiological changes associated with a subsequent experimentally-induced inflammatory response. Maximum repeatability, which occurred over a short mid-winter interval, equaled 0.57. Baseline haptoglobin concentrations predicted response haptoglobin concentrations better than any other endotoxin-induced change. Overall, we identified several strengths and limitations of baseline [Hp] quantification. Acknowledging these qualities should lead to more refined conclusions in studies of the ecology and evolution of immune function.
The design and cross-population application of a genome-wide SNP chip for the great tit Parus major
Bers, N.E.M. van; Santure, A.W. ; Oers, K. van; Cauwer, I. de; Dibbits, B.W. ; Mateman, A.C. ; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Visser, M.E. ; Groenen, M.A.M. - \ 2012
Molecular Ecology Resources 12 (2012)4. - ISSN 1755-098X - p. 753 - 770.
generation sequencing technology - linkage disequilibrium - genotyping assay - climate-change - wild - chicken - microsatellites - adaptation - evolution - selection
The vast amount of phenotypic information collected in some wild animal populations makes them extremely valuable for unravelling the genetics of ecologically important traits and understanding how populations adapt to changes in their environment. Next generation sequencing has revolutionized the development of large marker panels in species previously lacking genomic resources. In this study, a unique genomics toolkit was developed for the great tit (Parus major), a model species in ecology and behavioural biology. This toolkit consists of nearly 100 000 SNPs, over 250 million nucleotides of assembled genomic DNA and more than 80 million nucleotides of assembled expressed sequences. A SNP chip with 9193 SNP markers expected to be spaced evenly along the great tit genome was used to genotype 4702 birds from two of the most intensively studied natural vertebrate populations [Wytham Woods/Bagley Woods (United Kingdom) and de Hoge Veluwe/Westerheide (The Netherlands)]. We show that (i) SNPs identified in either of the two populations have a high genotyping success in the other population, (ii) the minor allele frequencies of the SNPs are highly correlated between the two populations and (iii) despite this high correlation, a large number of SNPs display significant differentiation (FST) between the populations, with an overrepresentation of genes involved in cardiovascular development close to these SNPs. The developed resources provide the basis for unravelling the genetics of important traits in many long-term studies of great tits. More generally, the protocols and pitfalls encountered will be of use for those developing similar resources.
Environmental Psychology: An Introduction
Steg, L. ; Berg, A.E. van den; Groot, J.I.M. de - \ 2012
UK : Wiley-Blackwell (BPS textbooks in psychology ) - ISBN 9780470976388 - 406
omgevingspsychologie - gezondheid - welzijn - landschapsbeleving - wild - natuur - perceptie - gedrag - milieubeheer - stedelijke gebieden - studieboeken - environmental psychology - health - well-being - landscape experience - wildlife - nature - perception - behaviour - environmental management - urban areas - textbooks
Environmental Psychology: An Introduction offers a research-based introduction to the psychological relationship between humans and their built and natural environments and discusses how sustainable environments can be created to the benefit of both people and nature •Explores the environment's effects on human wellbeing and behaviour, factors influencing environmental behaviour and ways of encouraging pro-environmental action •Provides a state-of-the-art overview of recent developments in environmental psychology, with an emphasis on sustainability as a unifying principle for theory, research and interventions •While focusing primarily on Europe and North America, also discusses environmental psychology in non-Western and developing countries •Responds to a growing interest in the contribution of environmental psychologists to understanding and solving environmental problems and promoting the effects of environmental conditions on health and wellbeing
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