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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High phylogenetic diversity is preserved in species-poor high-elevation temperate moth assemblages
Zou, Yi ; Sang, Weiguo ; Hausmann, Axel ; Axmacher, Jan Christoph - \ 2016
Scientific Reports 6 (2016). - ISSN 2045-2322

Understanding the diversity and composition of species assemblages and identifying underlying biotic and abiotic determinants represent great ecological challenges. Addressing some of these issues, we investigated the α-diversity and phylogenetic composition of species-rich geometrid moth (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) assemblages in the mature temperate forest on Changbai Mountain. A total of 9285 geometrid moths representing 131 species were collected, with many species displaying wide elevational distribution ranges. Moth α-diversity decreased monotonously, while the standardized effect size of mean pairwise phylogenetic distances (MPD) and phylogenetic diversity (PD) increased significantly with increasing elevation. At high elevations, the insect assemblages consisted largely of habitat generalists that were individually more phylogenetically distinct from co-occurring species than species in assemblages at lower altitudes. This could hint at higher speciation rates in more favourable low-elevation environments generating a species-rich geometrid assemblage, while exclusion of phylogenetically closely related species becomes increasingly important in shaping moth assemblages at higher elevations. Overall, it appears likely that high-elevation temperate moth assemblages are strongly resilient to environmental change, and that they contain a much larger proportion of the genetic diversity encountered at low-elevation assemblages in comparison to tropical geometrid communities.

Geometrid moth assemblages reflect high conservation value of naturally regenerated secondary forests in temperate China
Zou, Yi ; Sang, Weiguo ; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor ; Axmacher, Jan Christoph - \ 2016
Forest Ecology and Management 374 (2016). - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 111 - 118.
Changbaishan - Donglingshan - Lepidoptera - Mature forest - Phylogenetic diversity

The widespread destruction of mature forests in China has led to massive ecological degradation, counteracted in recent decades by substantial efforts to promote forest plantations and protect secondary forest ecosystems. The value of the resulting forests for biodiversity conservation is widely unknown, particularly in relation to highly diverse invertebrate taxa that fulfil important ecosystem services. We aimed to address this knowledge gap, establishing the conservation value of secondary forests on Dongling Mountain, North China based on the diversity of geometrid moths - a species-rich family of nocturnal pollinators that also influences plant assemblages through caterpillar herbivory. Results showed that secondary forests harboured geometrid moth assemblages similar in species richness and phylogenetic diversity, but with a species composition distinctly different to assemblages in one of China's last remaining mature temperate forests in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve. Species overlap between these sites was about 30%, and species did not form separate phylogenetic clusters according to site. Species assemblages at Dongling Mountain were strongly differentiated according to forest type; a pattern not found at Changbaishan. Our results indicate that protected naturally regenerated secondary forests in northern China provide suitable habitats for species-rich and genetically diverse geometrid moth assemblages, highlighting the potential importance of these forests for conservation and ecosystem function provision across the wider landscape.

Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China
Zou, Yi ; Sang, Weiguo ; Wang, Shunzhong ; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor ; Liu, Yunhui ; Yu, Zhenrong ; Wang, Changliu ; Axmacher, Jan Christoph - \ 2015
Ecology and Evolution 5 (2015)3. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 531 - 542.
Biodiversity conservation - Carabids - Herbaceous plants - Mature forest - Turnover - α-Diversity

Plantation and secondary forests form increasingly important components of the global forest cover, but our current knowledge about their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is limited. We surveyed understory plant and carabid species assemblages at three distinct regions in temperate northeastern China, dominated by mature forest (Changbaishan Nature Reserve, sampled in 2011 and 2012), secondary forest (Dongling Mountain, sampled in 2011 and 2012), and forest plantation habitats (Bashang Plateau, sampled in 2006 and 2007), respectively. The α-diversity of both taxonomic groups was highest in plantation forests of the Bashang Plateau. Beetle α-diversity was lowest, but plant and beetle species turnover peaked in the secondary forests of Dongling Mountain, while habitats in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve showed the lowest turnover rates for both taxa. Changbaishan Nature Reserve harbored the highest proportion of forest specialists. Our results suggest that in temperate regions of northern China, the protected larch plantation forest established over extensive areas might play a considerable role in maintaining a high biodiversity in relation to understory herbaceous plant species and carabid assemblages, which can be seen as indicators of forest disturbance. The high proportion of phytophagous carabids and the rarity of forest specialists reflect the relatively homogenous, immature status of the forest ecosystems on the Bashang Plateau. China's last remaining large old-growth forests like the ones on Changbaishan represent stable, mature ecosystems which require particular conservation attention.

Resilience of insect assemblages to climate change in mature temperate mountain forests of NE China
Zou, Yi ; Sang, Weiguo ; Axmacher, Jan Christoph - \ 2015
Journal of Insect Conservation 19 (2015)6. - ISSN 1366-638X - p. 1163 - 1172.
Altitude - Carabidae - Geometridae - Vascular plants - β-diversity

The turnover patterns in species assemblages along gradients of abiotic or biotic conditions are indicative of the assemblages’ sensitivity to changes in these conditions. Studies of such gradients allow an evaluation of the degree of habitat specialization in different taxa, which will strongly affect their ability to react to changes in climatic conditions. Our study was carried at one of the largest mature temperate forests in northeastern China, Changbai Mountain. We establish how strongly shifts in the assemblages of two mega-diverse insect families, ground beetles and geometrid moths, are associated with changes in the vegetation that are indicative of the degree of habitat specialization, in comparison to altitudinal change that is linked to changes in both temperature and precipitation. Overall, altitudinal change exerted a substantially stronger influence on insect species turnover patterns than vegetation changes, with elevation being particularly strongly linked to turnover in carabid and dominant geometrid species. Significant links were recorded between changes in the vegetation and turnover in both insect taxa, but Partial Mantel Tests reveal that the observed links with the vegetation are partly indirect. The results indicate that many species in both taxa are habitat generalists able to thrive in a wide range of plant species assemblages and vegetation structures. This will facilitate climate change-induced shifts in their distribution ranges. Conservation efforts should therefore be strongly focused on the smaller groups of habitat- and host-plant insect specialists, as well as on assemblages associated with mountain top habitats that will be unable to shift their ranges further upward.

Ground beetle assemblages in Beijing's new mountain forests
Warren-Thomas, Eleanor ; Zou, Yi ; Dong, Lijia ; Yao, Xuenan ; Yang, Mengjie ; Zhang, Xiaoliang ; Qin, Ya ; Liu, Yunhui ; Sang, Weiguo ; Axmacher, Jan Christoph - \ 2014
Forest Ecology and Management 334 (2014). - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 369 - 376.
Carabidae - China - Plantation - Regeneration - Temperate forest

Mature forests have been almost completely destroyed in China's northern regions, but this has been followed by large-scale reforestation in the wake of environmental degradation. Although future forest plantations are expected to expand over millions of hectares, knowledge about the ecology and biodiversity of China's replanted forests remains very limited. Addressing these knowledge gaps, we recorded ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) communities in five secondary forest types: plantations of Chinese Pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) and Prince Rupprecht's Larch (Larix principis-rupprechtii), Oak (Quercus wutaishanica) and Asian White Birch (Betula platyphylla) woodlands, and naturally regenerated mixed forest. Species richness peaked in mixed forests, while pine and oak woodlands harboured discrete communities of intermediate species richness. Oak, pine and mixed forest habitats also showed high levels of species turnover between plots. Canopy closure was an important factor influencing ground beetle assemblages and diversity, and a number of forest specialist species only occurred in pine or oak forests. We believe that some forest specialists have survived earlier deforestation and appear to be supported by new plantation forests, but maintenance of secondary native oak and mixed forests is crucial to safeguard the overall species pool.

Strong effects of persistent fog on wet bamboo paramo zonation
Cleef, A.M. - \ 2004
In: 17th Annual Conference of Society for Tropical Ecology: Biodiversity, and dynamics in tropical ecosystems, Bayreuth, Germany, 18-20 February 2004. - Bayreuth, Germany : University Bayreuth - p. 81 - 81.
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