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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Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function
Griffiths, B.S. ; Römbke, J. ; Schmelz, R.M. ; Scheffczyk, A. ; Faber, J.H. ; Bloem, J. ; Peres, G. ; Cluzeau, D. ; Chabbi, A. ; Suhadolc, M. ; Sousa, J.P. ; Silva, P.M. da; Carvalho, F. ; Mendes, S. ; Morais, P. ; Francisco, R. ; Pereira, C. ; Bonkowski, M. ; Geisen, Stefan ; Bardgetti, R.D. ; Vries, F.T. De; Bolger, T. ; Dirilgen, T. ; Schmidt, O. ; Winding, Anne ; Hendriksen, Nicolien ; Johansen, A. ; Philippot, L. ; Plassart, P. ; Bru, D. ; Thomson, B.M. ; Griffiths, R.I. ; Bailey, Megan ; Keith, A. ; Rutgers, M. ; Mulder, Christian ; Hannula, S.E. ; Creamer, Rachel ; Stone, D. - \ 2016
Ecological Indicators 69 (2016). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 213 - 223.
Soils provide many ecosystem services that are ultimately dependent on the local diversity and belowground abundance of organisms. Soil biodiversity is affected negatively by many threats and there is a perceived policy requirement for the effective biological monitoring of soils at the European level. The aim of this study was to evaluate and recommend policy relevant, cost-effective soil biological indicators for biodiversity and ecosystem function across Europe. A total of 18 potential indicators were selected using a logical-sieve based approach. This paper considers the use of indicators from the ‘top down’ (i.e. concerned with the process of indicator selection), rather than from the ‘bottom up’ detail of how individual indicators perform at specific sites and with specific treatments. The indicators assessed a range of microbial, faunal and functional attributes, newer nucleic acids based techniques, morphological approaches and process based measurements. They were tested at 6 European experimental sites already in operation and chosen according to land-use, climatic zone and differences in land management intensity. These were 4 arable sites, one each in Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and Pannonian climate zones, and 2 grassland sites, one each in Atlantic and Continental zones. At each site we sampled three replicated plots of contrasting management intensity and, while the treatments varied from site to site, their disturbance effects were quantified in terms of land use intensity. The field sampling and laboratory analysis were standardised through a combination of ISO protocols, or standard operating procedures if the former were not available. Sites were sampled twice, in autumn 2012 and spring or autumn 2013, with relative costs of the different indicators being determined each time. A breakdown of the cost effectiveness of the indicators showed the expected trade-off between effort required in the field and effort required in the laboratory. All the indicators were able to differentiate between the sites but, as no single indicator was sensitive to all the differences in land use intensity, we suggest that an indicator programme should be based upon a suite of different indicators. For monitoring under the European climatic zones and land uses of this study, indicators for ecosystem functions related to the services of water regulation, C-sequestration and nutrient provision would include a minimum suite of: earthworms; functional genes; and bait lamina. For effective monitoring of biodiversity all taxonomic groups would need to be addressed.
Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Types of Degradation, Causes, and Implications for Management
Kairis, O. ; Kosmas, C. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, M. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Feng, J. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Khitrov, N. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Ramos, J. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 971 - 982.
region ne spain - tillage erosion - soil displacement - translocation - vulnerability - sensitivity - performance - vegetation - systems - impact
Indicator-based approaches are often used to monitor land degradation and desertification from the global to the very local scale. However, there is still little agreement on which indicators may best reflect both status and trends of these phenomena. In this study, various processes of land degradation and desertification have been analyzed in 17 study sites around the world using a wide set of biophysical and socioeconomic indicators. The database described earlier in this issue by Kosmas and others (Environ Manage, 2013) for defining desertification risk was further analyzed to define the most important indicators related to the following degradation processes: water erosion in various land uses, tillage erosion, soil salinization, water stress, forest fires, and overgrazing. A correlation analysis was applied to the selected indicators in order to identify the most important variables contributing to each land degradation process. The analysis indicates that the most important indicators are: (i) rain seasonality affecting water erosion, water stress, and forest fires, (ii) slope gradient affecting water erosion, tillage erosion and water stress, and (iii) water scarcity soil salinization, water stress, and forest fires. Implementation of existing regulations or policies concerned with resources development and environmental sustainability was identified as the most important indicator of land protection.
Evaluation and Selection of Indicators for Land Degradation and Desertification Monitoring: Methodological Approach
Kosmas, C. ; Karis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Salvati, L. ; Acikalin, S. ; Alcala, S. ; Alfama, P. ; Atlhopheng, J. ; Barrera, J. ; Belgacem, A. ; Sole-Benet, A. ; Brito, J. ; Chaker, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Coelho, C. ; Darkoh, M. ; Diamantis, I. ; Ermolaeva, O. ; Fassouli, V. ; Fei, W. ; Fernandez, F. ; Ferreira, A. ; Gokceoglu, C. ; Gonzalez, D. ; Gungor, H. ; Hessel, R. ; Juying, J. ; Khatteli, H. ; Kounalaki, A. ; Laouina, A. ; Lollino, P. ; Lopes, M. ; Magole, L. ; Medina, L. ; Mendoza, M. ; Morais, P. ; Mulale, K. ; Ocakoglu, F. ; Ouessar, M. ; Ovalle, C. ; Perez, C. ; Perkins, J. ; Pliakas, F. ; Polemio, M. ; Pozo, A. ; Prat, C. ; Qinke, Y. ; Ramos, A. ; Riquelme, J. ; Romanenkov, V. ; Rui, L. ; Santaloia, F. ; Sebego, R. ; Sghaier, M. ; Silva, N. ; Sizemskaya, M. ; Soares, J. ; Sonmez, H. ; Taamallah, H. ; Tezcan, L. ; Torri, D. ; Ungaro, F. ; Valente, S. ; Vente, J. de; Zagal, E. ; Zeiliguer, A. ; Zhonging, W. ; Ziogas, A. - \ 2014
Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 951 - 970.
mediterranean conditions - aggregate stability - soil properties - rock fragments - organic-matter - vegetation - tillage - biomass - erosion - greece
An approach to derive relationships for defining land degradation and desertification risk and developing appropriate tools for assessing the effectiveness of the various land management practices using indicators is presented in the present paper. In order to investigate which indicators are most effective in assessing the level of desertification risk, a total of 70 candidate indicators was selected providing information for the biophysical environment, socio-economic conditions, and land management characteristics. The indicators were defined in 1,672 field sites located in 17 study areas in the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Based on an existing geo-referenced database, classes were designated for each indicator and a sensitivity score to desertification was assigned to each class based on existing research. The obtained data were analyzed for the various processes of land degradation at farm level. The derived methodology was assessed using independent indicators, such as the measured soil erosion rate, and the organic matter content of the soil. Based on regression analyses, the collected indicator set can be reduced to a number of effective indicators ranging from 8 to 17 in the various processes of land degradation. Among the most important indicators identified as affecting land degradation and desertification risk were rain seasonality, slope gradient, plant cover, rate of land abandonment, land-use intensity, and the level of policy implementation.
Natural born indicators: Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae) as monitors of river discharge influence on estuarine ichthyofauna
Dias, E. ; Morais, P. ; Leopold, M.F. ; Campos, J. ; Antunes, C. - \ 2012
Journal of Sea Research 73 (2012). - ISSN 1385-1101 - p. 101 - 108.
double-crested cormorants - australian estuary - fish farm - food-web - diet - seabirds - variability - recruitment - management - abundance
The ecological traits of piscivorous marine birds have been acknowledged to reflect ecosystem changes. We used the great cormorant as our indicator species in the Minho estuary (NW-Iberian Peninsula, Europe) to assess the temporal variation of their diet and the factors that could influence that variation. Pellets were collected in a night roost, located centrally in the estuary, during two consecutive wintering periods (2005–2006 and 2006–2007). The great cormorant population showed a high degree of feeding plasticity and most of the variation in cormorants' diet was attributed to river discharge fluctuations. Overall, during periods of increased river discharge, marine and marine opportunistic species disappeared from diet, whereas freshwater species increased. The cormorants in this study were using a roost in the middle of the estuary, so they were facing a changing food base over time, in accordance to variation in river discharges. The birds did not keep their diet constant but rather took what became locally available, notwithstanding their broad foraging range. Therefore, we suggest that great cormorants may be considered good samplers of local ichthyofauna and thus, temporal variation in the local prey can be followed by analyzing cormorants' diet.
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