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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    Ecological and economic conditions and associated institutional challenges for conservation banking in dynamic landscapes
    Teeffelen, A.J.A. van; Opdam, P.F.M. ; Wätzold, F. ; Hartig, F. ; Johst, K. ; Drechsler, M. ; Vos, C.C. ; Wissel, S. ; Quétier, F. - \ 2014
    Landscape and Urban Planning 130 (2014). - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 64 - 72.
    no net loss - biodiversity conservation - ecosystem services - metapopulation persistence - habitat networks - tradable permits - offset policies - protected areas - restoration - markets
    Protected areas are a cornerstone of current biodiversity policy. The continued loss of biodiversity, however, as well as the limited scope to extend protected area networks necessitates a conservation perspective that encompasses both protected areas and the wider landscape. This calls for policy instruments that can govern land use dynamics, simultaneously meeting demands for conservation (i.e. no net loss of biodiversity) and economic development. Conservation banking could be such an instrument, but only when certain criteria are met. Building on the theory of ecological networks, we combine ecological, economic and institutional perspectives on conservation banking to identify when and where conservation banking could be feasible. Economic prerequisites include sufficient market activity to match demand and supply. Adequate regulatory capacity is needed to design and enforce trading rules. From an ecological perspective, habitat turnover is least detrimental in large and well-connected networks. For many ecosystem types, those prerequisites will be rarely met in practice: sufficient market activity implies sufficient habitat turnover, but most ecological networks are not robust enough to buffer frequent habitat turnover. Therefore, banking is best limited to common and fast-regenerating ecosystem types (e.g. certain coastal systems, wetlands, nutrient-rich grasslands). Furthermore, conservation banking could be applied to a subset of the network only, i.e. the wider landscape, as a complementary instrument to protected area policy. With appropriate trading rules and institutional arrangements, the loss and gain of habitat could be governed to improve the spatial cohesion and size of ecological networks and the capacity of landscapes to support biodiversity.
    Biodiversity conservation in dynamic landscapes: trade-offs between number, connectivity and turnover of habitat patches
    Johst, K. ; Drechsler, M. ; Teeffelen, A.J.A. van; Hartig, F. ; Vos, C.C. ; Wissel, S. ; Wätzold, F. ; Opdam, P.F.M. - \ 2011
    Journal of Applied Ecology 48 (2011)5. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1227 - 1235.
    metapopulation persistence - tradable permits - extinction risk - disturbances - populations - management - networks - reserves - plant - size
    1. Many species are adapted to landscapes with characteristic dynamics generated by ongoing habitat destruction and creation. Climate change and human land use, however, may change the dynamics of these landscapes. Studies have repeatedly shown that many species are not able to cope with such changes in landscape dynamics. Conservation policies must, therefore, explicitly address this threat. The way in which management should be modified when formerly static landscapes become dynamic or when landscape dynamics change is unclear. 2. Using an analytical formula for the rapid assessment of metapopulation lifetime in dynamic landscapes, we investigate if and how changes in one landscape attribute may be compensated by changes in another attribute to maintain species viability. We study such trade-offs considering both spatial (number, connectivity of patches) and temporal (patch destruction and creation rates) landscape attributes. 3. We show that increasing patch destruction can be compensated to a certain extent by improvements in other spatial and/or temporal landscape attributes. Focusing on trade-offs between management options reveals two key factors essential for management decisions: First, the trade-offs are generally nonlinear irrespective of considering spatial or temporal landscape attributes. Secondly, species can be grouped according to their response to particular management options. 4. Synthesis and applications. We demonstrate the usefulness of an analytical formula for calculating trade-offs between landscape attributes for a variety of landscapes and species. Two practical and robust management recommendations can be derived: (i) The nonlinearity of trade-offs implies that the effectiveness of conservation measures depends explicitly on the current level of landscape attributes. It must, therefore, be taken into account in conservation decision making. In particular, the existing level of patch turnover is decisive: if it is already high, improvements in other landscape attributes are ineffective in maintaining species viability. Thus, monitoring the current level of landscape attributes is indispensable for effective biodiversity conservation. (ii) Compensation of increased patch destruction by increased patch creation is only suitable for species with high dispersal propensity adapted to variable environments (aside from habitat patch turnover). This implies that conservation policies which rely on such compensation, like offsetting and conservation banking, are feasible only for this type of species.
    Governing spatial-temporal dynamics of biodiversity conservation networks using a tradable permit market scheme
    Teeffelen, A.J.A. van; Opdam, P.F.M. ; Drechsler, M. ; Hartig, F. ; Johst, K. ; Vos, C.J. ; Wätzold, F. ; Wissel, S. - \ 2010
    In: Proceedings of the Scaling and Governance Conference 2010 "Towards a New Knowledge for Scale Sensitive Governance of Complex Systems", Wageningen, the Netherlands, November 11-12, 2010. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - p. 44 - 44.
    Networks of protected areas are widely accepted as an appropriate strategy for biodiversity conservation, particularly in intensively used landscapes. In such regions, (semi)natural habitat mainly occurs in small, spatially scattered areas, embedded in land used for food and fiber production, housing, infrastructure and working facilities. Conserving biodiversity successfully in such fragmented landscapes requires sufficient levels of spatial cohesion, allowing species to utilize the individual areas as a large network. Current conservation networks are conceptualized as static structures, with the individual sites (areas) protected by law. Recent arguments in literature suggest that a certain degree of spatial dynamics might be beneficial for several reasons. With spatial dynamics we mean that parts of the network are being used for other land use functions, while elsewhere the network is strengthened via habitat restoration. Such a flexible approach allows improving the ecological effectiveness of networks in a wider landscape context, as well as improving robustness to climate change. Furthermore, it enables the incorporation of conservation networks and habitat provisioning into sustainable spatial development. However, it is largely unknown at with rate the spatial change of the networks is compatible with retaining biodiversity goals. Another unanswered question is how this change can be governed in a way that is more compatible with sustainable development than the current strict regulations. For a case study in the west of the Netherlands (Green Heart) we simulated loss and gain of wet grassland habitat sites using the policy instrument of tradable permits. We explored how such instruments should be governed to generate robust and resilient ecosystem networks.We compared various combinations of market incentives and spatial planning rules with respect to their ability to realize cost-effective patterns of ecosystem sites in the case study area. The patterns of habitat turnover produced by different governance settings were assessed for ecological effectiveness using population-dynamic models for a few species with different ecological strategies. The results suggest that with a strong bonus for maintenance and enhancement of spatial network cohesion, market based policy instruments could improve the ecological effectiveness and the adaptive capacity of ecosystem networks.
    Cost-effectiveness of managing Natura 2000 sites: an exploratory study for Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland
    Wätzold, F. ; Mewes, M. ; Apeldoorn, R.C. van; Varjopuro, R. ; Chmielewski, T. ; Veeneklaas, F.R. ; Kosola, M.L. - \ 2010
    Biodiversity and Conservation 19 (2010)7. - ISSN 0960-3115 - p. 2053 - 2069.
    compensation payments - conservation - policy - biodiversity - landscapes - management - resource
    Natura 2000 sites are expected to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It follows that successful management of the sites is of great importance. Next to goal attainment, cost-effectiveness is increasingly recognised as a key requirement for gaining social and political acceptance for costly conservation measures. We identify and qualitatively examine issues of cost-effectiveness related to the design and implementation of management measures in Natura 2000 sites in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. Given the wide variety of management design and implementation options within the four countries, our study is purely of an exploratory nature. We derive recommendations for improving the cost-effectiveness of management in Natura 2000 sites and for future research. Examples of policy recommendations include guaranteeing the availability of funds for longer periods, and ensuring the appropriate allocation of funds between the different tasks of designing and implementing management plans. Further research should examine the cost-effectiveness of controversial suggestions such as, for example, more tailored payment schemes for conservation measures that result in higher ecological outputs but are costly to administer. Moreover, more research is needed to better understand how rules for administrations, as well as rules and governance structures for tasks within administrations, should be designed.
    Opportunities and constraints of tradable permits for biodiversity conservation
    Drechsler, M. ; Johst, K. ; Opdam, P.F.M. ; Teeffelen, A.J.A. van; Vos, C.C. ; Wätzold, F. - \ 2009
    In: Abstracts of Diversitas OSC2, open science conference: Biodiversity and society: understanding connections, adapting to change, October 13-16, 2009, Cape Town, South Africa. - Cape Town : Diversitas International - p. 47 - 47.
    Background and Goal of Study Economic development poses a continuing challenge for biodiversity conservation. In recent years, market-based instruments such as tradable land-use permits have gained increasing attention as flexible instruments to mitigate the conflict between economic development and conservation. We present results from the project EcoTRADE, funded by the European Science Foundation, that investigates the applicability of tradable permits to biodiversity conservation. Materials and Methods The EcoTRADE project performs conceptual analyses, evaluation of existing policies and modelling to gain better understanding of permit markets for conservation. Conceptual analyses reveal the key parameters that determine the functioning and efficiency of a permit market. We evaluate existing policies similar to tradable permits from an economic point of view. Using models, we analyze how spatial habitat connectivity can be influenced by trading rules, how spatial and temporal habitat network properties affect species viability and how trading rules affect the cost-effectiveness of a market. Selected Results and Conclusions Permit markets involve trade-offs. E.g., they must function economically, requiring sufficient market activity, but ecological requirements may restrict trading opportunities. Policies in the US and Germany have shown that permit markets can lead to improvements, both economically and ecologically. Key properties of dynamic networks include the total area of cohesive habitat, its spatial connectivity, the development time and the proportion of network area that changes annually. The ecological model identifies the spatial and temporal constraints of spatially shifting habitat patches across landscapes. The ecological-economic model shows that spatial connectivity can be generated through a permit market, but the cost-effectiveness of a trading rule depends on the properties of the target species and the behaviour of the market participants
    Discursive biases of the environmental research framework DPSIR
    Svarstad, H. ; Petersen, L.K. ; Rothman, D. ; Siepel, H. ; Wätzold, F. - \ 2008
    Land Use Policy 25 (2008)1. - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 116 - 125.
    africa - ecology - south - land - tool
    The Drivers¿Pressures¿State¿Impacts¿Responses (DPSIR) framework has evolved as an interdisciplinary tool to provide and communicate knowledge on the state and causal factors regarding environmental issues. Based on a social constructivist and discourse analytic perspective, this paper provides a critical examination of theoretical foundations of the DPSIR approach. We focus on the example of biodiversity, but our conclusions are relevant to other fields of environmental research. The DPSIR framework is viewed through the `lenses¿ of four major types of discourses on biodiversity: Preservationist, Win¿win, Traditionalist and Promethean. Based upon this examination, we argue that the DPSIR framework is not a tool generating neutral knowledge. Instead, application of this framework reproduces the discursive positions the applicant brings into it. We find that when applied in its traditional form to studies in the field of biodiversity, the framework is most compatible with the Preservationist discourse type and tends to favour conservationist and to neglect other positions. Thus, contrary to what is often claimed, we find that the DPSIR framework has shortcomings as a tool for establishing good communication between researchers, on the one hand, and stakeholders and policy makers on the other. The problem with the framework is the lack, so far, of efforts to find a satisfactory way of dealing with the multiple attitudes and definitions of issues by stakeholders and the general public.
    Ecological-economic modeling for biodiversity management: potential, pitfalls, and prospects
    Wätzold, F. ; Drechsler, M. ; Armstrong, C.W. ; Baumgärtner, S. ; Grimm, V. ; Huth, A. ; Perrings, C. ; Possingham, H.P. ; Shogren, J.F. ; Skonhoft, A. ; Verboom-Vasiljev, J. ; Wissel, C. - \ 2006
    Conservation Biology 20 (2006)4. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 1034 - 1041.
    computational economics - compensation payments - species protection - political-economy - conservation - stability - reserves - systems - policy
    Ecologists and economists both use models to help develop strategies for biodiversity management. The practical use of disciplinary models, however, can be limited because ecological models tend not to address the socioeconomic dimension of biodiversity management, whereas economic models tend to neglect the ecological dimension. Given these shortcomings of disciplinary models, there is a necessity to combine ecological and economic knowledge into ecological-economic models. It is insufficient if scientists work separately in their own disciplines and combine their knowledge only when it comes to formulating management recommendations. Such an approach does not capture feedback loops between the ecological and the socioeconomic systems. Furthermore, each discipline poses the management problem in its own way and comes up with its own most appropriate solution. These disciplinary solutions, however are likely to be so different that a combined solution considering aspects of both disciplines cannot be found. Preconditions for a successful model-based integration of ecology and economics include (1) an in-depth knowledge of the two disciplines, (2) the adequate identification and framing of the problem to be investigated, and (3) a common understanding between economists and ecologists of modeling and scale. To further advance ecological-economic modeling the development of common benchmarks, quality controls, and refereeing standards for ecological-economic models is desirable.
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