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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    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==Ecosystem functioning
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The Future of Complementarity : Disentangling Causes from Consequences
Barry, Kathryn E. ; Mommer, Liesje ; Ruijven, Jasper van; Wirth, Christian ; Wright, Alexandra J. ; Bai, Yongfei ; Connolly, John ; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De; Kroon, Hans de; Isbell, Forest ; Milcu, Alexandru ; Roscher, Christiane ; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael ; Schmid, Bernhard ; Weigelt, Alexandra - \ 2019
Trends in Ecology and Evolution 34 (2019)2. - ISSN 0169-5347 - p. 167 - 180.
Abiotic facilitation - Biodiversity - Biotic feedbacks - Complementarity - Complementarity effect - Ecosystem functioning - Plant-soil feedback - Resource partitioning - Resource tracers - Stress amelioration

Evidence suggests that biodiversity supports ecosystem functioning. Yet, the mechanisms driving this relationship remain unclear. Complementarity is one common explanation for these positive biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Yet, complementarity is often indirectly quantified as overperformance in mixture relative to monoculture (e.g., ‘complementarity effect’). This overperformance is then attributed to the intuitive idea of complementarity or, more specifically, to species resource partitioning. Locally, however, several unassociated causes may drive this overperformance. Here, we differentiate complementarity into three types of species differences that may cause enhanced ecosystem functioning in more diverse ecosystems: (i) resource partitioning, (ii) abiotic facilitation, and (iii) biotic feedbacks. We argue that disentangling these three causes is crucial for predicting the response of ecosystems to future biodiversity loss.

Dissolved oxygen dynamics in drainage ditches along a eutrophication gradient
Lee, Gea H. van der; Verdonschot, Ralf C.M. ; Kraak, Michiel H.S. ; Verdonschot, Piet F.M. - \ 2018
Limnologica 72 (2018). - ISSN 0075-9511 - p. 28 - 31.
Dissolved oxygen saturation - Ecosystem functioning - Monitoring - Primary production - Respiration - Water quality

The impact of eutrophication on the functioning of drainage ditch ecosystems is understudied. Therefore, we performed a field study to quantify the dissolved oxygen dynamics of ditches at different depths and seasons along a eutrophication gradient. During summer, a clear distinction in daily variation in dissolved oxygen saturation of the top water layer was observed between the trophic states. We recommend including dissolved oxygen dynamics as a functional parameter in drainage ditch monitoring programmes.

Soil food web assembly and vegetation development in a glacial chronosequence in Iceland
Leeuwen, J.P. van; Lair, G.J. ; Gísladóttir, G. ; Sandén, T. ; Bloem, J. ; Hemerik, L. ; Ruiter, P.C. de - \ 2018
Pedobiologia 70 (2018). - ISSN 0031-4056 - p. 12 - 21.
Ecosystem functioning - Glacial succession - Iceland - Soil food web structure - Vegetation development

Worldwide human activities threaten soil quality in terms of the soil's ability to deliver ecosystem services. This ongoing process of land degradation asks for effective strategies of soil protection. In this context, it is important to understand processes that build up and regenerate soil. The present study investigated how the soil ecosystem, including soil organisms, vegetation and soil ecological processes, develops during the process of soil formation in a chronosequence in a glacier forefield in Iceland. We hypothesised that along successional age we see increases in nutrient content, vegetation cover, and plant species richness linked to increases in soil food webs biomass and complexity. In line with our expectations all measured pools of carbon and nitrogen, and vegetation cover increased with age in the glacial forefield, but plant species richness levelled off after 30 years. Soil organisms generally increased in biomass with successional age, although some of the groups of soil organisms peaked at an intermediate successional stage. In contrast to our expectations, some of the calculated food web complexity metrics such as the number of trophic groups and trophic chain length did not increase linearly, but showed an intermediate peak or even decreased with successional age. However, plant cover and pools of carbon and nitrogen still increased after 120 years. From these results we conclude that soil ecosystem development takes more than a century under Icelandic climatic conditions to fully develop in terms of vegetation succession, food web structure and biogeochemical cycling.

Soil microbes promote complementarity effects among co-existing trees through soil nitrogen partitioning
Luo, Shan ; Schmid, Bernhard ; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De; Yu, Shixiao - \ 2018
Functional Ecology 32 (2018)7. - ISSN 0269-8463 - p. 1879 - 1889.
Biodiversity - Complementarity - Ecosystem functioning - Mycorrhizal fungi - Nitrogen partitioning - Plant-soil interactions - Soil microbes
Plant resource partitioning is a mechanism promoting species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. Yet, we still have limited understanding of how soil microbes, especially plant symbiotic microbes, influence resource partitioning. We hypothesized that soil-borne microbes, in particular mycorrhizal fungi, facilitate differential performance of tree species depending on different nitrogen sources and that this leads to a positive plant diversity-community productivity relationship. We conducted two complementing glasshouse experiments. In a "monoculture experiment," we supplied nitrogen as ammonium, nitrate or glycine and tested the growth response of three tree species associated with different root symbionts: one associated with ectomycorrhizal fungi, one associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and the third associated with both arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and N-fixing bacteria. In an "intermixed experiment," we grew the tree species at three richness levels (one, two or three species) in soil supplied with a mix of the three nitrogen forms or no added nitrogen, and with or without soil microbes. The monoculture experiment showed that in the presence of soil microbes, the ectomycorrhizal plant species grew best when supplied with glycine and the two arbuscular mycorrhizal plant species grew best with either nitrate or ammonium addition. When the different forms of nitrogen were mixed in the intermixed experiment, plant mixtures produced more biomass than plant monocultures in the presence of soil microbes, with positive complementarity effects indicating microbe-mediated plant resource partitioning. Our results suggest that co-existing tree species can partition soil nitrogen when grown with their particular mycorrhizal symbionts or other soil microbes, resulting in positive biodiversity effects in complex resource environments. A plain language summary is available for this article.
Species and structural diversity affect growth of oak, but not pine, in uneven-aged mature forests
Vanhellemont, Margot ; Bijlsma, Rienk Jan ; Keersmaeker, Luc De; Vandekerkhove, Kris ; Verheyen, Kris - \ 2018
Basic and Applied Ecology 27 (2018). - ISSN 1439-1791 - p. 41 - 50.
Biodiversity - Ecosystem functioning - Pinus sylvestris - Productivity - Quercus petraea - Quercus robur - Temperate forest
The effects of mixing tree species on tree growth and stand production have been abundantly studied, mostly looking at tree species diversity effects while controlling for stand density and structure. Regarding the shift towards managing forests as complex adaptive systems, we also need insight into the effects of structural diversity. Strict forest reserves, left for spontaneous development, offer unique opportunities for studying the effects of diversity in tree species and stand structure. We used data from repeated inventories in ten forest reserves in the Netherlands and northern Belgium to study the growth of pine and oak. We investigated whether the diversity of a tree's local neighbourhood (i.e., species and structural diversity) is important in explaining its basal area growth. For the subcanopy oak trees, we found a negative effect of the tree species richness of the local neighbours, which - in the studied forests - was closely related to the share of shade-casting tree species in the neighbourhood. The growth of the taller oak trees was positively affected by the height diversity of the neighbour trees. Pine tree growth showed no relation with neighbourhood diversity. Tree growth decreased with neighbourhood density for both species (although no significant relationship was found for the small pines). We found no overall diversity-growth relationship in the studied uneven-aged mature forests; the relationship depended on tree species identity and the aspect of diversity considered (species vs. structural diversity).
Complementarity and synergisms among ecosystem services supporting crop yield
Garibaldi, Lucas A. ; Andersson, Georg K.S. ; Requier, Fabrice ; Fijen, Thijs P.M. ; Hipólito, Juliana ; Kleijn, David ; Pérez-Méndez, Néstor ; Rollin, Orianne - \ 2018
Global Food Security 17 (2018). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 38 - 47.
Biodiversity - Ecosystem functioning - Pest control - Pollination - Regulatory services - Soil fertility
Understanding how ecosystem services interact to support crop yield is essential for achieving food security. Here we evaluate the interactions among biotic pest regulation, pollination, and nutrient cycling. We found only 16 studies providing 20 analyses of two-way interactions. These studies show that multiple services limit crop yield simultaneously. Complementary effects (no interactions) between ecosystem services were the most common, followed by synergistic effects (positive interactions), while evidence for negative interactions was weak. Most studies evaluated two levels of service delivery, thus did not quantify the functional response of crop yield. Although this function is expected to be non-linear, most studies assume linear relations. We conclude that the lack of evidence for negative interactions has important implications for agricultural management.
Biotic interactions enhance survival and fitness in the caddisfly Micropterna sequax (Trichoptera : Limnephilidae)
Westveer, Judith J. ; Verdonschot, Piet F.M. ; Verdonschot, Ralf C.M. - \ 2018
Hydrobiologia 818 (2018)1. - ISSN 0018-8158 - p. 31 - 41.
Biodiversity - Ecosystem functioning - Interspecific facilitation - Macroinvertebrates - Niche complementarity
Patches of coarse particulate organic matter in lowland streams are inhabited by many different macroinvertebrate species, yet knowledge of interactions among the members of these assemblages is scarce. In a mesocosm experiment we aimed to determine the effect of interspecific interactions on species survival and fitness of two caddisfly species. It was hypothesized that, as a result of positive interactions, mixed species populations would yield higher survival and fitness than single species populations. Larvae of two caddisfly species, Micropterna sequax and Potamophylax rotundipennis, were reared in single species and mixed species populations. Emergence rate was recorded and adult fitness was measured in terms of wingspan and biomass. We found that in mixed populations, emergence rate, wing length and biomass of M. sequax were higher than in single species populations. P. rotundipennis was only significantly, yet negatively, affected in terms of biomass of the male individuals. This study showed that occurring together with other species holds advantages for M. sequax, and emphasizes the importance of species diversity in streams. Furthermore, the observed positive effects on survival and fecundity might influence population sizes of the interacting species, in turn affecting macroinvertebrate-mediated ecosystem processes such as leaf litter decomposition.
Community evolution increases plant productivity at low diversity
Moorsel, Sofia J. van; Hahl, Terhi ; Wagg, Cameron ; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De; Flynn, Dan F.B. ; Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra ; Schmid, Bernhard - \ 2017
Ecology Letters 21 (2017)1. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 128 - 137.
Biodiversity - Co-selection - Community evolution - Ecosystem functioning - Grassland species - Jena Experiment - Plant productivity - Soil organisms
Species extinctions from local communities negatively affect ecosystem functioning. Ecological mechanisms underlying these impacts are well studied, but the role of evolutionary processes is rarely assessed. Using a long-term field experiment, we tested whether natural selection in plant communities increased biodiversity effects on productivity. We re-assembled communities with 8-year co-selection history adjacent to communities with identical species composition but no history of co-selection ('naïve communities'). Monocultures, and in particular mixtures of two to four co-selected species, were more productive than their corresponding naïve communities over 4 years in soils with or without co-selected microbial communities. At the highest diversity level of eight plant species, no such differences were observed. Our findings suggest that plant community evolution can lead to rapid increases in ecosystem functioning at low diversity but may take longer at high diversity. This effect was not modified by treatments simulating co-evolutionary processes between plants and soil organisms.
European salt marshes : ecology and conservation in a changing world
Garbutt, Angus ; Groot, Alma de; Smit, Chris ; Pétillon, Julien - \ 2017
Journal of Coastal Conservation 21 (2017)3. - ISSN 1400-0350 - p. 405 - 408.
Biogeomorphology - Conference proceedings - Ecosystem functioning - Tidal marsh
Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s
Kong, Xiangzhen ; He, Wei ; Liu, Wenxiu ; Yang, Bin ; Xu, Fuliu ; Jørgensen, Sven Erik ; Mooij, W.M. - \ 2016
Ecological Modelling 319 (2016). - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 31 - 41.
Ecopath model - Ecosystem functioning - Fishery - Food web structure - Lake Chaohu - Lake management

Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning in a certain lake during distinct periods are scarce. In this study, we focus on Lake Chaohu, the fifth-largest lake in China, which has undergone drastic changes over the last several decades. Data from the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s were used to create three Ecopath mass-balance models. These Ecopath models were validated by the stable isotope-determined trophic level (TL) for each functional group, which indicated an acceptable model performance. Over time, we observed a collapse of the food web toward a simplified structure and decreasing biodiversity and trophic interactions. The lake ecosystem was approaching an immature but stable status from the 1950s to the 2000s, as indicated by the multiple related indicators and the distribution of energy flows in slow detrital-based and fast primary producer-based channels. We further discuss the potential driving factors and underlying mechanisms, hypothesizing that hydrological regulation may play a significant role in driving all of these changes in Lake Chaohu in addition to eutrophication and intensive fishery. Overall, we strongly advocate the identification of a threshold in abundance of zooplanktivorous fish, an integrated strategy for future ecological restoration in Lake Chaohu, and the consideration of using Ecopath as a new management tool for other lakes, thereby bridging the strategies from both environmental and ecological perspectives.

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