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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Drought, Mutualism Breakdown, and Landscape-Scale Degradation of Seagrass Beds
Fouw, Jimmy de; Govers, Laura L. ; Koppel, Johan van de; Belzen, Jim van; Dorigo, Wouter ; Sidi Cheikh, Mohammed A. ; Christianen, Marjolijn J.A. ; Reijden, Karin J. van der; Geest, Matthijs van der; Piersma, Theunis ; Smolders, Alfons J.P. ; Olff, Han ; Lamers, Leon P.M. ; Gils, Jan A. van; Heide, Tjisse van der - \ 2016
Current Biology 26 (2016)8. - ISSN 0960-9822 - p. 1051 - 1056.
In many marine ecosystems, biodiversity critically depends on foundation species such as corals and seagrasses that engage in mutualistic interactions [1-3]. Concerns grow that environmental disruption of marine mutualisms exacerbates ecosystem degradation, with breakdown of the obligate coral mutualism ("coral bleaching") being an iconic example [2, 4, 5]. However, as these mutualisms are mostly facultative rather than obligate, it remains unclear whether mutualism breakdown is a common risk in marine ecosystems, and thus a potential accelerator of ecosystem degradation. Here, we provide evidence that drought triggered landscape-scale seagrass degradation and show the consequent failure of a facultative mutualistic feedback between seagrass and sulfide-consuming lucinid bivalves that in turn appeared to exacerbate the observed collapse. Local climate and remote sensing analyses revealed seagrass collapse after a summer with intense low-tide drought stress. Potential analysis - a novel approach to detect feedback-mediated state shifts - revealed two attractors (healthy and degraded states) during the collapse, suggesting that the drought disrupted internal feedbacks to cause abrupt, patch-wise degradation. Field measurements comparing degraded patches that were healthy before the collapse with patches that remained healthy demonstrated that bivalves declined dramatically in degrading patches with associated high sediment sulfide concentrations, confirming the breakdown of the mutualistic seagrass-lucinid feedback. Our findings indicate that drought triggered mutualism breakdown, resulting in toxic sulfide concentrations that aggravated seagrass degradation. We conclude that external disturbances can cause sudden breakdown of facultative marine mutualistic feedbacks. As this may amplify ecosystem degradation, we suggest including mutualisms in marine conservation and restoration approaches.
Breeding in a den of thieves : Pros and cons of nesting close to egg predators
Fouw, Jimmy de; Bom, Roeland A. ; Klaassen, Raymond H.G. ; Müskens, Gerard J.D.M. ; Vries, Peter P. de; Popov, Igor Yu ; Kokorev, Yakov I. ; Ebbinge, Bart ; Nolet, Bart A. - \ 2016
Ecosphere 7 (2016)6. - ISSN 2150-8925
Branta bernicla bernicla - Clutch size - Dark-bellied brent goose - Guanofication - Gulls - Lemming cycle - Nest association hypothesis - Partial nest predation - Taimyr

Breeding success of many Arctic-breeding bird populations varies with lemming cycles due to prey switching behavior of generalist predators. Several bird species breed on islands to escape from generalist predators like Arctic fox Vulpes lagopus, but little is known about how these species interact. We studied brent geese Branta bernicla bernicla that share islands with gulls (Larus spec.) in Taimyr, Siberia (Russia). On one hand, gulls are egg predators, which occasionally steal an egg when incubating geese leave the nest for foraging bouts. On the other hand, gulls import marine resources to the islands, enriching the soil with their guano. We considered three hypotheses regarding clutch size of brent geese after partial nest predation. According to the "predator proximity hypothesis", clutch size is expected to be smallest close to gulls, because of enhanced predator exposure. Conversely, clutch size is expected to be largest close to gulls, because of the supposedly better feeding conditions close to gulls, which might reduce nest recess times of geese and hence egg predation risk ("guano hypothesis"). Furthermore, gulls may defend their nesting territory, and thus nearby goose nests might benefit from this protection against other gulls ("nest association hypothesis"). We mapped goose and gull nests toward the end of the goose incubation period. In accordance with the latter two hypotheses, goose clutch size decreased with distance to the nearest gull nest in all but the lemming peak year. In the lemming peak year, clutch size was consistently high, indicating that partial nest predation was nearly absent. By mapping food quantity and quality, we found that nitrogen availability was indeed higher closer to gull nests, reflecting guanofication. Unlike predicted by the nest association hypothesis, a predation pressure experiment revealed that egg predation rate decreased with distance to the focal gull nests. We therefore propose that higher food availability close to gulls enables female geese to reduce nest recess time, limiting egg predation by gulls.

Brent goose colonies near snowy owls: Internest distances in relation to breeding arctic fox densities
Kharitonov, S.P. ; Ebbinge, B.S. ; Fouw, J. de - \ 2013
Biology Bulletin / Russian Academy of Sciences 40 (2013)1. - ISSN 1062-3590 - p. 45 - 51.
rough-legged buzzards - peregrine falcons - taimyr peninsula - lemmings
It was shown that in the years when the numbers of the Arctic foxes are high, even though the lemming numbers are high as well, Brent geese nest considerably closer to owls' nests than in the years with low Arctic fox numbers. At values of the Arctic fox densities greater than one breeding pair per 20 km(2), the factor of lemming numbers ceases to affect the distance between owl and geese nests. This distance becomes dependent on the Arctic fox density (numbers). When the Arctic fox density is greater than the pronounced threshold, the owl-Brent internest distance is inversely and linearly related to the Arctic fox density. DOI: 10.1134/S106235901301007X
Ervaringen met de opvang van ganzen op de klei : seizoen 1 - 2005/2006
Bommel, F.P.J. van; Kwak, R.G.M. ; Jeugd, H.J. ; Guldemond, A. ; Weijden, A.G.G. van der; Fouw, J. de - \ 2006
Wageningen : Alterra - 110
zware kleigronden - ganzen - overwintering - akkerbouw - agrarisch natuurbeheer - zeeuws-vlaanderen - noord-brabant - clay soils - geese - arable farming - agri-environment schemes
Conform het Beleidskader Faunabeheer zijn opvanggebieden voor overwinterende ganzen aangewezen. In akkerbouwgebieden met zware klei zijn de mogelijkheden voor beheerspakketten voor opvang beperkt. Gedurende drie winters (2005-'08) wordt in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen en West Brabant een vijftal experimentele beheerspakketten op hun geschiktheid onderzocht. Onderzoek in samenwerking met SOVON en CLM
Gulls and brent geese on the Bird Islands
Ebbinge, B.S. ; Bom, R.A. ; Broekhuizen, S. ; Ebbinge-Dallmeijer, D.A. ; Fouw, J. de; Klaassen, R. ; Kokorev, Y. - \ 2006
In: Pristine wilderness of the Taimyr peninsula; 2005 report / Ebbinge, B.S., Mazurov, Y.L., Moscow (Russia) : Heritage Institute - ISBN 5864431389 - p. 44 - 50.
Positional distribution of fatty acids in dietary triglycerides: effects on fasting blood lipoprotein concentrations in humans.
Zock, P.L. ; Vries, J.H.M. de; Fouw, N.J. de; Katan, M.B. - \ 1995
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61 (1995). - ISSN 0002-9165 - p. 48 - 55.
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