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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Nonlinear responses of soil nematode community composition to increasing aridity
Xiong, Dan ; Wei, Cun Zheng ; Wubs, Jasper E.R. ; Veen, G.J. ; Liang, Wenju ; Wang, Xiaobo ; Li, Qi ; Putten, Wim H. Van der; Han, Xingguo - \ 2019
Global Ecology and Biogeography (2019). - ISSN 1466-822X
aridity - biodiversity - global climate change - grassland transect - nonlinear response - soil nematode community

Aim: Increasing aridity under global change is predicted to have a profound impact on the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet we have a poor understanding of how belowground communities respond. In order to understand the longer term responses of different trophic levels in the soil food web to increasing aridity, we investigated the abundance, richness and community similarity of the soil nematode community along a 3,200 km aridity gradient. Location: A transect across semi-arid and arid grasslands in Northern China, where the aridity ranges from.43 to.97. Time period: July and August 2012. Major taxa studied: Soil-borne Nematoda. Methods: We used generalized additive (mixed) models to analyse the abundance, richness and community similarity patterns of soil nematodes. We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to disentangle the direct and indirect environmental drivers (aridity, soil and plant variables) of the nematode community. Results: The abundance, richness and similarity of nematode communities declined nonlinearly with increasing aridity. The most pronounced decline in nematode richness and community similarity occurred in arid conditions (aridity >.80). However, the shape of the response to aridity differed among nematode feeding groups. In arid conditions, the abundance and richness of bacterial feeders were less sensitive to changes in aridity than for fungal feeders. The SEM analysis revealed that nematode community responses to aridity were not mediated via changes in plant and soil variables, but instead were affected directly by aridity. Main conclusions: Our results showed that in mesic grasslands, increasing aridity primarily caused a decline in nematode abundance, whereas increasing aridity in xeric grasslands led to a loss of nematode diversity. The nonlinear responses of nematodes to aridity could also result in nonlinear shifts in ecosystem functioning, because soil nematodes operate at various trophic levels in the soil food web, thereby influencing the performance of plants, soil biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling.

Evidence for rapid evolution in a grassland biodiversity experiment
Moorsel, Sofia J. van; Schmid, Marc W. ; Wagemaker, Niels C.A.M. ; Gurp, Thomas van; Schmid, Bernhard ; Vergeer, Philippine - \ 2019
Molecular Ecology 28 (2019)17. - ISSN 0962-1083 - p. 4097 - 4117.
biodiversity - DNA methylation - epigenetic variation - genetic divergence - herbaceous plant species - selection

In long-term grassland experiments, positive biodiversity effects on plant productivity commonly increase with time. Subsequent glasshouse experiments showed that these strengthened positive biodiversity effects persist not only in the local environment but also when plants are transferred into a common environment. Thus, we hypothesized that community diversity had acted as a selective agent, resulting in the emergence of plant monoculture and mixture types with differing genetic composition. To test our hypothesis, we grew offspring from plants that were grown for eleven years in monoculture or mixture environments in a biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment) under controlled glasshouse conditions in monocultures or two-species mixtures. We used epiGBS, a genotyping-by-sequencing approach combined with bisulphite conversion, to provide integrative genetic and epigenetic (i.e., DNA methylation) data. We observed significant divergence in genetic and DNA methylation data according to selection history in three out of five perennial grassland species, namely Galium mollugo, Prunella vulgaris and Veronica chamaedrys, with DNA methylation differences mostly reflecting the genetic differences. In addition, current diversity levels in the glasshouse had weak effects on epigenetic variation. However, given the limited genome coverage of the reference-free bisulphite method epiGBS, it remains unclear how much of the differences in DNA methylation was independent of underlying genetic differences. Our results thus suggest that selection of genetic variants, and possibly epigenetic variants, caused the rapid emergence of monoculture and mixture types within plant species in the Jena Experiment.

The ecology of infrastructure decommissioning in the North Sea: what we need to know and how to achieve it
Fowler, A.M. ; Jørgensen, A.M. ; Coolen, J.W.P. ; Jones, D.O.B. ; Svendsen, J.C. ; Brabant, R. ; Rumes, B. ; Degraer, S. - \ 2019
ICES Journal of Marine Science (2019). - ISSN 1054-3139 - 18 p.
artificial reefs - biodiversity - conservation - decommissioning - ecosystem - marine policy - North Sea - offshore infrastructure - platform - sustainability - wind farm
As decommissioning of oil and gas (O&G) installations intensifies in the North Sea, and worldwide, debate rages regarding the fate of these novel habitats and their associated biota—a debate that has important implications for future decommissioning of offshore wind farms (OWFs). Calls to relax complete removal requirements in some circumstances and allow part of an O&G installation to be left in the marine environment are increasing. Yet knowledge regarding the biological communities that develop on these structures and their ecological role in the North Sea is currently insufficient to inform such decommissioning decisions. To focus debate regarding decommissioning policy and guide ecological research, we review environmental policy objectives in the region, summarize existing knowledge regarding ecological aspects of decommissioning for both O&G and OWF installations, and identify approaches to address knowledge gaps through science–industry collaboration. We find that in some cases complete removal will conflict with other policies regarding protection and restoration of reefs, as well as the conservation of species within the region. Key ecological considerations that are rarely considered during decommissioning decisions are: (i) provision of reef habitat, (ii) productivity of offshore ecosystems, (iii) enhancement of biodiversity, (iv) protection of the seabed from trawling, and (v) enhancement of connectivity. Knowledge gaps within these areas will best be addressed using industry infrastructure and vessels for scientific investigations, re-analysis of historical data held by industry, scientific training of industry personnel, joint research funding opportunities, and trial decommissioning projects.
Opstaan voor de biodiversiteit: ‘Kleine stapjes zijn niet genoeg, er is systeemverandering nodig
Turnhout, Esther - \ 2019
biodiversity - extinction - species richness - nature management - sustainability
Effectiveness of agri-environmental management on pollinators is moderated more by ecological contrast than by landscape structure or land-use intensity
Marja, Riho ; Kleijn, David ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Klein, Alexandra Maria ; Frank, Thomas ; Batáry, Péter - \ 2019
Ecology Letters 22 (2019)9. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1493 - 1500.
Agri-environmental schemes - bees - biodiversity - butterflies - ecosystem services - flower strips - hoverflies - land-use intensity - meta-analysis

Agri-environment management (AEM) started in the 1980s in Europe to mitigate biodiversity decline, but the effectiveness of AEM has been questioned. We hypothesize that this is caused by a lack of a large enough ecological contrast between AEM and non-treated control sites. The effectiveness of AEM may be moderated by landscape structure and land-use intensity. Here, we examined the influence of local ecological contrast, landscape structure and regional land-use intensity on AEM effectiveness in a meta-analysis of 62 European pollinator studies. We found that ecological contrast was most important in determining the effectiveness of AEM, but landscape structure and regional land-use intensity played also a role. In conclusion, the most successful way to enhance AEM effectiveness for pollinators is to implement measures that result in a large ecological improvement at a local scale, which exhibit a strong contrast to conventional practices in simple landscapes of intensive land-use regions.

Data from: The interplay of landscape composition and configuration: new pathways to manage functional biodiversity and agro-ecosystem services across Europe
Martin, Emily A. ; Dainese, Matteo ; Clough, Yann ; Báldi, András ; Bommarco, R. ; Gagic, Vesna ; Garratt, Michael P.D. ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Kleijn, D. ; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó ; Marini, Lorenzo ; Potts, Simon G. ; Smith, Henrik G. ; Hassan, Diab Al; Albrecht, Matthias ; Andersson, Georg K.S. ; Asís, Josep D. ; Aviron, Stéphanie ; Balzan, M.V. ; Baños-Picón, Laura ; Bartomeus, Ignasi ; Batáry, Péter ; Burel, Francoise ; Caballero-lópez, Berta ; Concepción, Elena D. ; Coudrain, Valérie ; Dänhardt, Juliana ; Diaz, Mario ; Diekötter, Tim ; Dormann, Carsten F. ; Duflot, Rémi ; Entling, Martin H. ; Farwig, Nina ; Fischer, Christina ; Frank, Thomas ; Garibaldi, Lucas A. ; Hermann, John ; Herzog, Felix ; Inclán, Diego J. ; Jacot, Katja ; Jauker, Frank ; Jeanneret, Philippe ; Kaiser, Marina ; Krauss, Jochen ; Féon, Violette Le; Marshall, Jon ; Moonen, Anna Camilla ; Moreno, Gerardo ; Riedinger, Verena ; Rundlöf, Maj ; Rusch, Adrien ; Scheper, J.A. ; Schneider, Gudrun ; Schüepp, Christof ; Stutz, Sonja ; Sutter, Louis ; Tamburini, Giovanni ; Thies, Carsten ; Tormos, José ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Tschumi, Matthias ; Uzman, Deniz ; Wagner, Christian ; Zubair Anjum, Muhammad ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf - \ 2019
biodiversity - agroecosystem - landscape composition - landscape configuration - functional traits - arthropods - natural pest control - pollination - yields
Managing agricultural landscapes to support biodiversity and ecosystem services is a key aim of a sustainable agriculture. However, how the spatial arrangement of crop fields and other habitats in landscapes impacts arthropods and their functions is poorly known. Synthesising data from 49 studies (1515 landscapes) across Europe, we examined effects of landscape composition (% habitats) and configuration (edge density) on arthropods in fields and their margins, pest control, pollination and yields. Configuration effects interacted with the proportions of crop and non‐crop habitats, and species’ dietary, dispersal and overwintering traits led to contrasting responses to landscape variables. Overall, however, in landscapes with high edge density, 70% of pollinator and 44% of natural enemy species reached highest abundances and pollination and pest control improved 1.7‐ and 1.4‐fold respectively. Arable‐dominated landscapes with high edge densities achieved high yields. This suggests that enhancing edge density in European agroecosystems can promote functional biodiversity and yield‐enhancing ecosystem services.
Co-designing a data platform to impact nature policy and management: experiences from the Dutch Caribbean
Verweij, P. ; Cormont, A. ; Hoetjes, P. ; Meyer, K. de; Bussel, T. van; Roosenschoon, O. ; Henkens, R. ; Schmidt, A. ; Janssen, S. - \ 2019
Environmental Science & Policy 100 (2019). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 13 - 20.
biodiversity - clearinghouse - indicators - reporting obligations - stakeholders

To secure the sustainable use of nature, governments track nature's health and develop regulations and policies. Although there is a seeming abundance in observation-recordings, decision- and policy-makers are constrained by the lack of data and indicators, mostly as a result of barriers preventing existing data from being found, accessed, made suitable for (automated) processing and reused, but also due to missing visualisations targeted at answering questions asked by policy makers. This paper explores the process and principles for developing a biodiversity web-platform that informs policy and management on the state and trends of nature, based on experiences with the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database (DCBD). The DCBD supports the assessment of the state of nature and guarantees long-term data availability in an environment that experiences a high turnover in project funds and personnel. Three principles made DCBD's uptake and growth possible: The platform is funded, promoted and used by national and regional policy makers, it simplifies tasks of local management and rapporteurs, and it is continuously being adapted to changing needs and insights. Stronger dissemination of DCBD's narratives in social arenas (e.g. newspapers, social media) may make Caribbean nature and biodiversity more politically and societally relevant.

The Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) and the Berlin Oyster Recommendation: bringing back a key ecosystem engineer by developing and supporting best practice in Europe
Pogoda, Bernadette ; Brown, Janet ; Hancock, Boze ; Preston, Joanne ; Pouvreau, Stephane ; Kamermans, Pauline ; Sanderson, William ; Nordheim, Henning von - \ 2019
Aquatic Living Resources 32 (2019). - ISSN 0990-7440 - 9 p.
Ostrea edulis - Berlin oyster recommendation - biogenic reef - ecosystem service - biodiversity
Efforts to restore the native oyster Ostrea edulis and its associated habitats are gaining momentum across Europe. Several projects are currently running or being planned. To maximize the success of these, it is crucial to draw on existing knowledge and experience in order to design, plan and implement
restoration activities in a sustainable and constructive approach. For the development of best practice recommendations and to promote multidimensional knowledge and technology exchange, the Native Oyster
Restoration Alliance (NORA) was formed by partners from science, technology, nature conservation, consultancies, commercial producers and policy-makers. The NORA network will enhance scientific and practical progress in flat oyster restoration, such as in project planning and permitting, seed oyster production, disease management and monitoring. It also focuses on joint funding opportunities and the potential development of national and international regulatory frameworks. The main motivation behind NORA is to facilitate the restoration of native oyster habitat within its historic biogeographic range in the
North Sea and other European seas along with the associated ecosystem services; services such as enhancing biodiversity, including enhanced fish stocks, nutrient cycling and sediment stabilization. NORA members agreed on a set of joint recommendations and strongly advise that any restoration measure should respect and apply these recommendations: The Berlin Oyster Recommendation is presented here. It will help guide the development of the field by developing and applying best practice accordingly. NORA also aims to
combine the outreach activities of local projects for improved community support and awareness and to provide educational material to increase knowledge of the key ecological role of this species and increase awareness among regulators, permit providers and stakeholders. A synthesis of O. edulis restoration efforts in Europe is provided and underlines the general significance in the field.
Does topsoil removal in grassland restoration benefit both soil nematode and plant communities?
Resch, Monika Carol ; Schütz, Martin ; Graf, Ulrich ; Wagenaar, Roel ; Putten, Wim H. ; Risch, Anita C. - \ 2019
Journal of Applied Ecology 56 (2019)7. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1782 - 1793.
biodiversity - biological indicators - food web structure - long-term recovery - propagule availability - restoration success - semi-natural grasslands - topsoil removal

Successful restoration of semi-natural grasslands on grasslands previously subject to intensive management needs to overcome manifold barriers. These include high soil fertility, the dominance of a few fast-growing plant species, degraded soil faunal communities and missing propagules of the targeted above- and below-ground flora and fauna. A combination of removing the topsoil and introducing propagules of target plants has become one of the major tools for nature conservation agencies and practitioners to reduce soil fertility and restore former species-rich grasslands in various European countries. Using topsoil removal as a restoration measure has provoked an ongoing debate between supporting nature conservation and rejecting soil protection agencies. Although it favours species-rich plant communities, it strongly disturbs soil communities and affects physical and chemical soil properties and processes. Currently, there is a lack of long-term data to assess how restored grassland ecosystems develop and recover after topsoil removal. Here, we used two well-established bioindicators, soil nematodes and plants, to quantify restoration success of topsoil removal in comparison with alternative restoration measures and target communities 22 years after intervention. The nematode community composition indicated reduced nutrient availability in the restored systems, as was aimed at by topsoil removal. Nevertheless, after this 22-year period following topsoil removal, nematode composition and structure revealed successful recovery. Plant communities benefitted from the reduction of soil nutrients after topsoil removal as indicated by higher numbers of plant species and higher Shannon diversity. Furthermore, topsoil removal strongly promoted the re-establishment of plant species of the target plant community. Synthesis and applications. Overall, our study demonstrates how a massive intervention by topsoil removal proved successful in converting intensively managed into species-rich grasslands. This contrasts with the mild intervention of repeated mowing and removing of the harvested plant material. We show that, in the long run, potential negative effects of topsoil removal on the soil fauna can be successfully overcome and plant communities can develop into targeted species-rich grassland.

Dossier Nature Based Solutions
Spijker, J.H. - \ 2019
Wageningen : Groen Kennisnet
urban planning - ecosystem services - urban areas - greening - health - heat resistance - trees - climatic change - water holding capacity - biodiversity - population education - mobility - well-being - gardens - air pollution
Het leefbaar houden van steden en dorpen is een belangrijke uitdaging van deze tijd. Daarnaast zorgt klimaatverandering voor een toenemende vraag naar slimme oplossingen om in te spelen op extremere weersomstandigheden. Het vergroenen van steden en dorpen biedt niet alleen een oplossing voor klimaatgerelateerde problemen, maar bevordert ook het woonplezier en de gezondheid van bewoners. Dit dossier laat zien hoe slimme groene oplossingen kunnen helpen bij de inrichting en het beheer van woongebieden ter bevordering van de leefbaarheid en klimaatadaptatie. Thema's zoals biodiversiteit, adaptatie en mitigatie komen aan bod.
Nature Based Solutions
Spijker, Joop - \ 2019
urban planning - urban areas - ecosystem services - greening - health - water - heat resistance - trees - climatic change - water holding capacity - biodiversity - stress - population education - mobility
Voor de uitdagingen van de stad 21e eeuw: 25 jaar VBG, Wageningen 22 maart 2019
DNA barcoding fishes from the Congo and the Lower Guinean provinces: Assembling a reference library for poorly inventoried fauna
Sonet, Gontran ; Snoeks, Jos ; Nagy, Zoltán T. ; Vreven, Emmanuel ; Boden, Gert ; Breman, Floris C. ; Decru, Eva ; Hanssens, Mark ; Ibala Zamba, Armel ; Jordaens, Kurt ; Mamonekene, Victor ; Musschoot, Tobias ; Houdt, Jeroen Van; Steenberge, Maarten Van; Lunkayilakio Wamuini, Soleil ; Verheyen, Erik - \ 2019
Molecular Ecology Resources 19 (2019)3. - ISSN 1755-098X - p. 728 - 743.
biodiversity - Central Africa - COI - freshwater - ichthyofauna - taxonomy

The Congolese and Lower Guinean ichthyological provinces are understudied hotspots of the global fish diversity. Here, we barcoded 741 specimens from the Lower and Middle Congo River and from three major drainage basins of the Lower Guinean ichthyological province, Kouilou-Niari, Nyanga and Ogowe. We identified 194 morphospecies belonging to 82 genera and 25 families. Most morphospecies (92.8%) corresponded to distinct clusters of DNA barcodes. Of the four morphospecies present in both neighbouring ichthyological provinces, only one showed DNA barcode divergence <2.5%. A small fraction of the fishes barcoded here (12.9% of the morphospecies and 16.1% of the barcode clusters representing putative species) were also barcoded in a previous large-scale DNA analysis of freshwater fishes of the Lower Congo published in 2011 (191 specimens, 102 morphospecies). We compared species assignments before and after taxonomic updates and across studies performed by independent research teams and observed that most cases of inconsistent species assignments were due to unknown diversity (undescribed species and unknown intraspecific variation). Our results report more than 17 putative new species and show that DNA barcode data provide a measure of genetic variability that facilitates the inventory of underexplored ichthyofaunae. However, taxonomic scrutiny, associated with revisions and new species descriptions, is indispensable to delimit species and build a coherent reference library.

sPlot – A new tool for global vegetation analyses
Bruelheide, Helge ; Dengler, Jürgen ; Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja ; Purschke, Oliver ; Hennekens, Stephan M. ; Chytrý, Milan ; Pillar, Valério D. ; Jansen, Florian ; Kattge, Jens ; Sandel, Brody ; Aubin, Isabelle ; Biurrun, Idoia ; Field, Richard ; Haider, Sylvia ; Jandt, Ute ; Lenoir, Jonathan ; Peet, Robert K. ; Peyre, Gwendolyn ; Sabatini, Francesco Maria ; Schmidt, Marco ; Schrodt, Franziska ; Winter, Marten ; Aćić, Svetlana ; Agrillo, Emiliano ; Alvarez, Miguel ; Ambarlı, Didem ; Angelini, Pierangela ; Apostolova, Iva ; Arfin Khan, Mohammed A.S. ; Arnst, Elise ; Attorre, Fabio ; Baraloto, Christopher ; Beckmann, Michael ; Berg, Christian ; Bergeron, Yves ; Bergmeier, Erwin ; Bjorkman, Anne D. ; Bondareva, Viktoria ; Borchardt, Peter ; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán ; Boyle, Brad ; Breen, Amy ; Brisse, Henry ; Byun, Chaeho ; Cabido, Marcelo R. ; Casella, Laura ; Cayuela, Luis ; Černý, Tomáš ; Chepinoga, Victor ; Csiky, János ; Curran, Michael ; Ćušterevska, Renata ; Dajić Stevanović, Zora ; Bie, Els De; Ruffray, Patrice de; Sanctis, Michele De; Dimopoulos, Panayotis ; Dressler, Stefan ; Ejrnæs, Rasmus ; El-Sheikh, Mohamed A.E.R.M. ; Enquist, Brian ; Ewald, Jörg ; Fagúndez, Jaime ; Finckh, Manfred ; Font, Xavier ; Forey, Estelle ; Fotiadis, Georgios ; García-Mijangos, Itziar ; Gasper, André Luis de; Golub, Valentin ; Gutierrez, Alvaro G. ; Hatim, Mohamed Z. ; He, Tianhua ; Higuchi, Pedro ; Holubová, Dana ; Hölzel, Norbert ; Homeier, Jürgen ; Indreica, Adrian ; Işık Gürsoy, Deniz ; Jansen, Steven ; Janssen, John ; Jedrzejek, Birgit ; Jiroušek, Martin ; Jürgens, Norbert ; Kącki, Zygmunt ; Kavgacı, Ali ; Kearsley, Elizabeth ; Kessler, Michael ; Knollová, Ilona ; Kolomiychuk, Vitaliy ; Korolyuk, Andrey ; Kozhevnikova, Maria ; Kozub, Łukasz ; Krstonošić, Daniel ; Kühl, Hjalmar ; Kühn, Ingolf ; Kuzemko, Anna ; Küzmič, Filip ; Landucci, Flavia ; Lee, Michael T. ; Levesley, Aurora ; Li, Ching Feng ; Liu, Hongyan ; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela ; Lysenko, Tatiana ; Macanović, Armin ; Mahdavi, Parastoo ; Manning, Peter ; Marcenò, Corrado ; Martynenko, Vassiliy ; Mencuccini, Maurizio ; Minden, Vanessa ; Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold ; Moretti, Marco ; Müller, Jonas V. ; Munzinger, Jérôme ; Niinemets, Ülo ; Nobis, Marcin ; Noroozi, Jalil ; Nowak, Arkadiusz ; Onyshchenko, Viktor ; Overbeck, Gerhard E. ; Ozinga, Wim A. ; Pauchard, Anibal ; Pedashenko, Hristo ; Peñuelas, Josep ; Pérez-Haase, Aaron ; Peterka, Tomáš ; Petřík, Petr ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Prokhorov, Vadim ; Rašomavičius, Valerijus ; Revermann, Rasmus ; Rodwell, John ; Ruprecht, Eszter ; Rūsiņa, Solvita ; Samimi, Cyrus ; Schaminée, Joop H.J. ; Schmiedel, Ute ; Šibík, Jozef ; Šilc, Urban ; Škvorc, Željko ; Smyth, Anita ; Sop, Tenekwetche ; Sopotlieva, Desislava ; Sparrow, Ben ; Stančić, Zvjezdana ; Svenning, Jens Christian ; Swacha, Grzegorz ; Tang, Zhiyao ; Tsiripidis, Ioannis ; Turtureanu, Pavel Dan ; Uğurlu, Emin ; Uogintas, Domas ; Valachovič, Milan ; Vanselow, Kim André ; Vashenyak, Yulia ; Vassilev, Kiril ; Vélez-Martin, Eduardo ; Venanzoni, Roberto ; Vibrans, Alexander Christian ; Violle, Cyrille ; Virtanen, Risto ; Wehrden, Henrik von; Wagner, Viktoria ; Walker, Donald A. ; Wana, Desalegn ; Weiher, Evan ; Wesche, Karsten ; Whitfeld, Timothy ; Willner, Wolfgang ; Wiser, Susan ; Wohlgemuth, Thomas ; Yamalov, Sergey ; Zizka, Georg ; Zverev, Andrei - \ 2019
Journal of Vegetation Science 30 (2019)2. - ISSN 1100-9233 - p. 161 - 186.
biodiversity - community ecology - ecoinformatics - functional diversity - global scale - macroecology - phylogenetic diversity - plot database - sPlot - taxonomic diversity - vascular plant - vegetation relevé

Aims: Vegetation-plot records provide information on the presence and cover or abundance of plants co-occurring in the same community. Vegetation-plot data are spread across research groups, environmental agencies and biodiversity research centers and, thus, are rarely accessible at continental or global scales. Here we present the sPlot database, which collates vegetation plots worldwide to allow for the exploration of global patterns in taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity at the plant community level. Results: sPlot version 2.1 contains records from 1,121,244 vegetation plots, which comprise 23,586,216 records of plant species and their relative cover or abundance in plots collected worldwide between 1885 and 2015. We complemented the information for each plot by retrieving climate and soil conditions and the biogeographic context (e.g., biomes) from external sources, and by calculating community-weighted means and variances of traits using gap-filled data from the global plant trait database TRY. Moreover, we created a phylogenetic tree for 50,167 out of the 54,519 species identified in the plots. We present the first maps of global patterns of community richness and community-weighted means of key traits. Conclusions: The availability of vegetation plot data in sPlot offers new avenues for vegetation analysis at the global scale.

Greenery: more than beauty and health : The positive effects of greenery in urban environments
Hiemstra, J.A. ; Vries, S. de; Spijker, J.H. - \ 2019
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 6 p.
health - well-being - plants - trees - reconditioning - air quality - biodiversity - air conditioning - learning - labour - green roofs - green walls - gezondheid - welzijn - planten - bomen - herstellen - luchtkwaliteit - biodiversiteit - klimaatregeling - leren - arbeid (werk) - groene daken - groene gevels
Greenery in our living environment benefits more than just our health and well-being. It also facilitates water management and promotes biodiversity in built-up areas, and can help reduce the effects of noise pollution. Greenery also helps to raise the property value of homes and offices. This document provides general information on the benefits of greenery, and complements the detailed fact sheets on how greenery can improve health and well-being in Residential, Professional, Educational and Healthcare contexts.
Plant species richness and functional groups have different effects on soil water content in a decade-long grassland experiment
Fischer, Christine ; Leimer, Sophia ; Roscher, Christiane ; Ravenek, Janneke ; Kroon, Hans de; Kreutziger, Yvonne ; Baade, Jussi ; Beßler, Holger ; Eisenhauer, Nico ; Weigelt, Alexandra ; Mommer, Liesje ; Lange, Markus ; Gleixner, Gerd ; Wilcke, Wolfgang ; Schröder, Boris ; Hildebrandt, Anke - \ 2019
Journal of Ecology 107 (2019)1. - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 127 - 141.
biodiversity - functional groups - Jena Experiment - plant–soil–water relation - soil water content - spatial–temporal variability - species richness

The temporal and spatial dynamics of soil water are closely interlinked with terrestrial ecosystems functioning. The interaction between plant community properties such as species composition and richness and soil water mirrors fundamental ecological processes determining above-ground–below-ground feedbacks. Plant–water relations and water stress have attracted considerable attention in biodiversity experiments. Yet, although soil scientific research suggests an influence of ecosystem productivity on soil hydraulic properties, temporal changes of the soil water content and soil hydraulic properties remain largely understudied in biodiversity experiments. Thus, insights on how plant diversity—productivity relationships affect soil water are lacking. Here, we determine which factors related to plant community composition (species and functional group richness, presence of plant functional groups) and soil (organic carbon concentration) affect soil water in a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment). Both plant species richness and the presence of particular functional groups affected soil water content, while functional group richness played no role. The effect of species richness changed from positive to negative and expanded to deeper soil with time. Shortly after establishment, increased topsoil water content was related to higher leaf area index in species-rich plots, which enhanced shading. In later years, higher species richness increased topsoil organic carbon, likely improving soil aggregation. Improved aggregation, in turn, dried topsoils in species-rich plots due to faster drainage of rainwater. Functional groups affected soil water distribution, likely due to plant traits affecting root water uptake depths, shading, or water-use efficiency. For instance, topsoils in plots containing grasses were generally drier, while plots with legumes were moister. Synthesis. Our decade-long experiment reveals that the maturation of grasslands changes the effects of plant richness from influencing soil water content through shading effects to altering soil physical characteristics in addition to modification of water uptake depth. Functional groups affected the soil water distribution by characteristic shifts of root water uptake depth, but did not enhance exploitation of the overall soil water storage. Our results reconcile previous seemingly contradictory results on the relation between grassland species diversity and soil moisture and highlight the role of vegetation composition for soil processes.

Data from: Landscape context and farm uptake limit effects of bird conservation in the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance
Josefsson, Jonas ; Pärt, Tomas ; Berg, Åke ; Lokhorst, A.M. ; Eggers, Sönke - \ 2018
agri-environment schemes - collaborative conservation - farmland birds - landscape composition - unsibsidised conservation - farmers - organic farming - biodiversity - AES - BACI
In Europe, agri-environmental schemes (AES) have been unsuccessful in halting biodiversity declines to any great extent. Two particular shortcomings of AES include the low farm uptake and the modest efficacy of many AES options. Partly in response to these shortcomings, initiatives encouraging farmers to take an active role in biodiversity conservation have gained in popularity. However, almost no evaluations of such initiatives exist. 2. We evaluated uptake of conservation advice on farms in the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance, a BirdLife Sweden-coordinated project aimed at farmland bird conservation, and the response of farmland birds to those actions using farm-level survey data, in a before-after implementation assessment. 3. Uptake was higher for unsubsidised (i.e. non-AES) measures than for AES options, and depended on farmers’ interest in nature, farm size (higher uptake on larger farms) and production type (higher on organic farms). 4. In general, abundances of non-crop nesting and field-nesting bird species declined between inventory years (median interval 3 years). Decreases were more marked in agriculturally marginal regions than in more arable-dominated regions, and declines were stronger on organic than conventional farms. 5. Negative abundance trends among non-crop nesting species were reduced by an increasing number of conservation measures at the farm, but only in the more arable-dominated landscapes. Changes in other non-crop species and in field-nesting species did not significantly relate to implemented measures, but the power to detect such effects was generally small due to the small sample size of high-uptake farms as well as high inter-farm variability. 6. Implications: Our results suggest that Volunteer Farmer Alliances and the addition of unsubsidised measures may be successful in changing the local number of non-crop nesting farmland birds at the farm level, and especially so in intensively managed agricultural landscapes. Thus, unsubsidised measures can be a useful addition to the set of agri-environment tools, although their effects on breeding bird numbers are (as with AES) dependent on landscape context, as well as on ensuring high on-farm uptake of different interventions.
Data from: DNA barcoding fishes from the Congo and the Lower Guinean provinces: assembling a reference library for poorly inventoried fauna
Sonet, Gontran ; Snoeks, Jos ; Nagy, Zoltán T. ; Vreven, Emmanuel ; Boden, Gert ; Breman, F.C. ; Decru, Eva ; Hanssens, Mark ; Ibala Zamba, Armel ; Jordaens, Kurt ; Mamonekene, Victor ; Musschoot, Tobias ; Houdt, Jeroen Van; Steenberge, Maarten Van; Lunkayilakio Wamuini, Soleil ; Verheyen, Erik - \ 2018
biodiversity - freshwater - taxonomy - COI - Ichtyofauna
The Congolese and Lower Guinean ichthyological provinces are understudied hotspots of the global fish diversity. Here, we barcoded 741 specimens from the Lower and Middle Congo River and from three major drainage basins of the Lower Guinean ichthyological province, Kouilou-Niari, Nyanga and Ogowe. We identified 195 morphospecies belonging to 82 genera and 25 families. Most morphospecies (92.8%) corresponded to distinct clusters of DNA barcodes. Of the four morphospecies present in both neighbouring ichthyological provinces, only one showed DNA barcode divergence <2.5%. A small fraction of the fishes barcoded here (12.9% of the morphospecies and 16.1% of the barcode clusters representing putative species) were also barcoded in a previous large-scale DNA analysis of freshwater fishes of the Lower Congo published in 2011 (191 specimens, 102 morphospecies). We compared species assignments before and after taxonomic updates and across studies performed by independent research teams and observed that most cases of inconsistent species assignments were due to unknown diversity (undescribed species and unknown intraspecific variation). Our results report more than 17 putative new species and show that DNA barcode data provide a measure of genetic variability that facilitates the inventory of underexplored ichthyofaunae. However, taxonomic scrutiny, associated with revisions and new species descriptions, is indispensable to delimit species and build a coherent reference library.
Ontstening van tuinen
Spijker, Joop - \ 2018
greening - urban planning - urban areas - water holding capacity - water harvesting - heat stability - biodiversity - gardens - greenhouse gases - public green areas
Dit gastcollege gaat over het belang van groene tuinen in het licht van de uitdagingen van de stad
Uitdagingen van de stad 21e eeuw
Spijker, Joop - \ 2018
urban planning - urban areas - mobility - greening - health - water - heat resistance - trees - climatic change - water holding capacity - biodiversity - stress - population education
Lesmateriaal over “Duurzame melkveehouderij” voor MBO
Plomp, M. ; Doornewaard, G.J. ; Zijlstra, J. - \ 2018
Wageningen : Wageningen Livestock Research - 19 p.
animal welfare - teaching materials - animal production - intermediate vocational training - sustainability - greenhouse gases - ammonia - biodiversity - minerals - cycling
Deze bundel is gemaakt binnen het project ‘Ondersteuning CIV Melkveehouderij – 2018’ onder verantwoordelijkheid van Wageningen Research. De productie ervan is mede mogelijk gemaakt door de financiering van het project vanuit de WURKS-regeling.
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