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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Species-dependent effects of habitat degradation in relation to seasonal distribution of migratory waterfowl in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway
Xu, Yanjie ; Si, Yali ; Yin, Shenglai ; Zhang, Wenyuan ; Grishchenko, Mikhail ; Prins, Herbert H.T. ; Gong, Peng ; Boer, Willem F. de - \ 2019
Landscape Ecology 34 (2019)2. - ISSN 0921-2973 - p. 243 - 257.
East Asian–Australasian Flyway - Fragmentation - Habitat loss - Isolation - Migratory connectivity - Migratory waterfowl - Seasonal distribution - Species trait - Wetland
Context: Migratory species’ resilience to landscape changes depends on spatial patterns of habitat degradation in relation to their migratory movements, such as the distance between breeding and non-breeding areas, and the location and width of migration corridors. Objectives: We investigated to what extent the impact of habitat degradation depended on the seasonal distributions of migratory waterfowl. Methods: Using logistic regression, we selected wetland sites for eight waterfowl species in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF) by calculating the probabilities of species occurrence per wetland site in relation to environmental factors. We quantified landscape metrics related to habitat degradation within these wetland sites. We used general linear models to test for differences in the effects of habitat degradation on waterfowl species with different migration extents and at different latitudes. Results: The patterns of habitat degradation differed spatially across the EAAF and affected species to a different degree. Species with shorter and broader migration corridors (Anser cygnoid and A. anser) could benefit from improved habitat conditions in the west of the EAAF. Species with longer and narrower migration corridors (Cygnus columbianus, A. fabalis, A. albifrons, A. erythropus, Anas crecca, and Anas acuta) were under higher risk of habitat degradation in the coastal regions of China and Japan. Conclusions: Migratory species with longer and narrower migration corridors are more affected by habitat degradation, because they might have fewer alternative stopover sites at similar latitude. Our findings improve the understanding of species-specific effects of environmental changes on migratory species, and defines critical and endangered wetland sites, and vulnerable species.
The birth of a new cropping system : towards sustainability in the sub-tropical lowland agriculture
Theisen, G. ; Silva, J.J.C. da; Silva-Dias, J. ; Andres, A. ; Anten, N.P.R. ; Bastiaans, L. - \ 2017
Field Crops Research 212 (2017). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 82 - 94.
Crop rotation - Farming system - Soil management - Sustainability indicators - Wetland

Developing cropping systems that meet multiple demands of high production, resource-use efficiency and low ecological footprint is a major global challenge. In Southern Brazilian lowlands, irrigated rice (Oryza sativa L.) in combination with fallow for beef production is the dominant cropping system. This system is key to Brazilian food security but faces problems of resource use efficiency, soil preservation and greenhouse gas emissions typically associated to rice irrigation. In this research, a multi-criteria analysis of the usual rice-fallow system, and a number of alternative production Schemes – i.e., the more recent rice-soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotations and the newly developed systems based on large ridges, was made. The latter is based on the construction of large ridges (8 m width) on which rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) and soybean, conducted in no-tillage, are integrated with either beef-livestock production or cover crops in winter. This study was done in an experiment that lasted for nine years. The five cropping systems were managed as independent fields and a range of indicators related to crop management, productivity and sustainability was measured. The Rice-Fallow system required the lowest amount of energy, but it had the lowest energy use efficiency and highest carbon-based environmental footprints, when expressed as greenhouse gasses emitted per kg of food produced. The rice-soybean rotation system presented an improved performance for the carbon-based footprints in comparison to the rice-fallow system. Within rice-soybean rotation, using minimum-tillage instead conventional tillage increased the overall carbon balance and the carbon sequestered into the soil as organic matter. Most strikingly, the new ridge-based systems exhibited the most favourable values for many of the indicators. The more diverse rotation system, and particularly the extension of the growing season to winter, resulted in improvements in soil quality, biomass production and carbon sequestration into the soil. Water- and light- use efficiency were increased, whereas greenhouse gas emissions reduced. The ridge-based crop-livestock integration offered the best balance between food production and environmental preservation. This cropping system is potentially one of best alternatives to increase agricultural diversification and sustainability in the sub-tropical lowlands such as in southern Brazil. This shows that modifications of cropping systems can result in major simultaneous improvements in yield, resource-use efficiency and ecological sustainability.

Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels – The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes
Klink, Roel van; Nolte, Stefanie ; Mandema, Freek S. ; Lagendijk, D.D.G. ; Wallis de Vries, Michiel ; Bakker, Jan P. ; Esselink, Peter ; Smit, Christian - \ 2016
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 235 (2016). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 329 - 339.
Birds - Butterflies - Cattle - Flower-visiting insects - Horses - Plants - Vegetation - Wetland

European coastal salt marshes are important for the conservation of numerous species of specialist plants, invertebrates, breeding and migratory birds. When these marshes are managed for nature conservation purposes, livestock grazing is often used to counter the dominance of the tall grass Elytrigia atherica, and the subsequent decline in plant species richness. However, it remains unclear what is the optimal choice of livestock species and stocking density to benefit biodiversity of various trophic levels. To fill this knowledge gap, we set up a triplicate, full factorial grazing experiment with cattle and horse grazing at low and high stocking densities (0.5 or 1 animal ha−1) at the mainland coast of the Dutch Wadden Sea. Here, we present the results after 4 years and integrate these with previously published results from the same experiment to assess effects of livestock grazing on various trophic groups. Stocking density affected almost all measured variables: high stocking densities favoured plant species richness and suppression of E. atherica, whereas low stocking densities favoured abundances of voles, pollinators and flowers. Densities of different functional groups of birds showed no significant response to the regimes, but tended to be somewhat higher under 0.5 horse and 1 cattle ha−1. Choice of livestock species had fewer and smaller effects than stocking density. Horse grazing was detrimental to vole density, and showed an interactive effect with stocking density for Asteraceae flower abundance. Multidiversity, a synthetic whole-ecosystem biodiversity measure, did not differ among regimes. These results are discussed in the light of other results from the same experiment. Because of these contrasting effects on different trophic groups, we advise concurrent application of different grazing regimes within a spatial mosaic, with the inclusion of long-term abandonment. High density horse grazing, however, is detrimental to biodiversity.

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