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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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.

Estimating sensitivity of seabed habitats to disturbance by bottom trawling based on the longevity of benthic fauna
Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Garcia, Clement ; Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Hintzen, Niels T. ; Denderen, P.D. van; Kooten, Tobias van - \ 2018
Ecological Applications 28 (2018)5. - ISSN 1051-0761 - p. 1302 - 1312.
benthic fauna - ecosystem-based management - effects of trawling - impact assessment - indicators - sea floor

Bottom fishing such as trawling and dredging may pose serious risks to the seabed and benthic habitats, calling for a quantitative assessment method to evaluate the impact and guide management to develop mitigation measures. We provide a method to estimate the sensitivity of benthic habitats based on the longevity composition of the invertebrate community. We hypothesize that long-lived species are more sensitive to trawling mortality due to their lower pace of life (i.e., slower growth, late maturation). We analyze data from box-core and grab samples taken from 401 stations in the English Channel and southern North Sea to estimate the habitat-specific longevity composition of the benthic invertebrate community and of specific functional groups (i.e., suspension feeders and bioturbators), and examine how bottom trawling affects the longevity biomass composition. The longevity biomass composition differed between habitats governed by differences in sediment composition (gravel and mud content) and tidal bed-shear stress. The biomass proportion of long-lived species increased with gravel content and decreased with mud content and shear stress. Bioturbators had a higher median longevity than suspension feeders. Trawling, in particular by gears that penetrate the seabed >2 cm, shifted the community toward shorter-lived species. Changes from bottom trawling were highest in habitats with many long-lived species (hence increasing with gravel content, decreasing with mud content). Benthic communities in high shear stress habitats were less affected by bottom trawling. Using these relationships, we predicted the sensitivity of the benthic community from bottom trawling impact at large spatial scale (the North Sea). We derived different benthic sensitivity metrics that provide a basis to estimate indicators of trawling impact on a continuous scale for the total community and specific functional groups. In combination with high resolution data of trawling pressure, our approach can be used to monitor and assess trawling impact and seabed status at the scale of the region or broadscale habitat and to compare the environmental impact of bottom-contacting fishing gears across fisheries.

Groene Cirkels : Resultaatrapportage
Steingröver, E.G. ; Vos, C.C. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Groene Cirkels - 15 p.
bio-energie - biobrandstoffen - biobased economy - duurzame energie - indicatoren - biomassa - bioenergy - biofuels - sustainable energy - indicators - biomass
Met de resultaatmeting wil Groene Cirkels inzichtelijk maken wat er bereikt is ten aanzien van het bereiken van onze doelen en ambities. Met deze informatie wil Groene Cirkels effectief sturen op het behalen van de ambities en inzicht geven in de bijdragen en resultaten van de diverse thema-activiteiten en Groene Cirkels
A comprehensive assessment of agriculture in lowlands of south Brazil: characterization and comparison of current and alternative concepts
Theisen, Giovani - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.P.R. Anten, co-promotor(en): L. Bastiaans. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436380 - 234
cropping systems - farming systems - crop management - lowland areas - wetlands - pampas - brazil - intensification - sustainability - productivity - indicators - soil management - rice - flooded rice - oryza sativa - maize - zea mays - glycine max - cover crops - livestock - rotation - mixed farming - seedbed preparation - farm machinery - teeltsystemen - bedrijfssystemen - gewasteelt - laaglandgebieden - wetlands - pampa's - brazilië - intensivering - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - productiviteit - indicatoren - bodembeheer - rijst - natte rijst - oryza sativa - maïs - zea mays - glycine max - dekgewassen - vee - rotatie - gemengde landbouw - zaaibedbereiding - landbouwwerktuigen

Agriculture in the lowlands of south Brazil is of strategic importance at the national level, since it supplies around 80% of the rice consumed by the Brazilian population. In Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil, three million hectares of lowlands are ready for grain-based agriculture. Of this area, about half is fallow, partly used for cattle grazing, and irrigated rice is the predominant crop, cultivated annually on 1.1 million ha. The remaining area is used for soybean and other crops. The predominant cropping system is a combination of irrigated rice and cattle. Over the last decades, rice yields have steadily increased, but this rise in yield level has to a large extent been obtained at the expense of a continuously higher use of external inputs. The recent introduction of soybean in rotation with rice has partially improved the system, but in most areas the situation is becoming incompatible with the modern demands for sustainability. This thesis presents a long-term study (2006-2015) of five cropping systems for lowlands. Next to monocrop rice and two rice-soybean rotations conducted in either conventional or minimum tillage, the experiment contained two novel systems based on large ridges, on which soybean and maize were combined with either cover crops or crop-livestock integration in winter. In these last systems, 8-m-wide ridges were built to avoid flooding, thus allowing for diversification of cash crops and the cultivation of cover crops or pastures in winter time, as well as the use of no-tillage. All systems were evaluated at process-level, including soil preparation, seeding, plant nutrition, pest management, irrigation, harvesting, transport and cattle management, as well as regarding their performance for the different dimensions of sustainability, particularly environment, land productivity, economics, energy-use and labour. Next to system assessment, two additional experiments were conducted for the evaluation of two specific technologies for soil management in these areas. Crop livestock integration on the ridge-based system offered the best balance between food production, environmental impact and economics. This system is well suited to be used in fields that are kept fallow, thereby enlarging the agricultural productivity of the lowlands. The additional experiments revealed that a knife-roller can successfully substitute plough-and-harrow for soil preparation after rice harvest, and that germination of weed seeds can be reduced if crop seeding is conducted at a lower speed or using a no-tillage seeder equipped with an improved cutting mechanism. Overall the results show that by using alternative cropping systems that allow for diversification and new methods of field management it is possible to simultaneously attain a larger agricultural production and improved sustainability in the lowlands.

Keeping humans in the ecosystem
Link, Jason S. ; Thébaud, Olivier ; Smith, David C. ; Smith, Anthony D.M. ; Schmidt, Jorn ; Rice, Jake ; Poos, J.J. ; Pita, Cristina ; Lipton, Doug ; Kraan, M.L. ; Frusher, Stewart ; Doyen, Luc ; Cudennec, Annie ; Criddle, Keith ; Bailly, Denis - \ 2017
ICES Journal of Marine Science 74 (2017)7. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 1947 - 1956.
ecosystem-based management - governance - indicators - integrated ecosystem assessment - marine socio-ecological systems - modeling - scenario analysis - stakeholder engagement
The World Ocean presents many opportunities, with the blue economy projected to at least double in the next two decades. However, capitalizing on these opportunities presents significant challenges and a multi-sectoral, integrated approach to managing marine socio-ecological systems will be required to achieve the full benefits projected for the blue economy. Integrated ecosystem assessments have been identified as the best means of delivering the information upon which marine resource management decisions can be made. By their nature, these assessments are inter-disciplinary, but to date have mostly focused on the natural sciences. Inclusion of human dimensions into integrated ecosystem assessments has been lagging, but is fundamental. Here we report on a Symposium, and the articles emmanating from it that are included in this Theme Set, that address how to more effectively include human dimensions into integrated ecosystem assessments. We provide an introduction to each of the main symposium topics (governance, scenarios, indicators, participatory processes, and case studies), highlight the works that emerged from the symposium, and identify key areas in which more work is required. There is still a long way to go before we see end-to-end integrated ecosystem assessments inclusive of all the major current and potential ocean use sectors that also encompass multiple aspects of human dimensions. Nonetheless, it is also clear that progress is being made and we are developing tools and approaches, including the human dimension, that can inform management and position us to take advantage of the multi-sectoral opportunities of sustainable blue growth.
Relatie KRW-doelen en macrofauna in beken in Noord-Brabant
Verdonschot, Ralf ; Verdonschot, Piet - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research - ISBN 9789463436205 - 50
waterlopen - ecologisch herstel - kaderrichtlijn water - macrofauna - indicatoren - soortensamenstelling - streams - ecological restoration - water framework directive - indicators - species composition
De toestand en ontwikkeling van macrofauna in de langzaam stromende Noord-Brabantse laaglandbeken en -riviertjes (KRW-watertypen R4, R5 en R6) blijft in veel gevallen ver achter bij de doelen die voor deze beken geformuleerd zijn in het kader van, onder andere, de KRW. Om de oorzaken hiervan te identificeren zijn monitoringsdata van de waterschappen, gegevens afkomstig van de NDFF en historische gegevens geanalyseerd, waarbij gekeken is naar de status van voorkomen en de milieu- en habitatpreferenties van de in de macrofauna maatlat genoemde kenmerkende soorten voor de verschillende watertypen.
Soil protection for a sustainable future : options for a soil monitoring network for Ireland
O'Sullivan, L. ; Bampa, F. ; Knights, K. ; Creamer, R.E. - \ 2017
Soil Use and Management 33 (2017)2. - ISSN 0266-0032 - p. 346 - 363.
drainage class - indicators - land use - natural resource - protection - Soil monitoring - sustainability

The increased recognition of the importance of soil is reflected in the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda with sustainable development goals that directly and indirectly relate to soil quality and protection. Despite a lack of legally binding legislation for soil protection, the European Commission remains committed to the objective of soil protection. However, the achievement of a legally binding framework for soil protection relies on the implementation of a soil monitoring network (SMN) that can detect changes to soil quality over time. As beneficiaries do not pay for the provision of soil information, the options for soil monitoring are limited. The use of existing data sets should be considered first. Using Ireland as an example, this research explored the opportunities for a SMN for Ireland considering three existing national data sets. The options for a SMN are considered in terms of their spatial and stratified distribution, the parameters to be measured and an economic analysis of the options proposed. This research finds that for Ireland, either a 10 or a 16 km2 grid interval stratified by land use and drainage class offers the best potential in relation to the spatial distribution of existing data sets to reflect local data at a national level. With existing data, the stratified SIS data using the 16 km2 grid offers the best value for money, with baseline costs for analysis, excluding field costs, of between €706 481 and €2.8 million. Acknowledging the impossibility of measuring all parameters with ideal frequency, this study proposes a two-tier system for optimized monitoring frequency. Parameters must anticipate future policy requirements. Finally, the implementation of a SMN must be accompanied by standardized methods, defined thresholds and action mandates to maintain soil quality within allowable limits.

The footprint of bottom trawling in European waters : Distribution, intensity, and seabed integrity
Eigaard, Ole R. ; Bastardie, Francois ; Hintzen, Niels T. ; Buhl-Mortensen, Lene ; Buhl-Mortensen, Pål ; Catarino, Rui ; Dinesen, Grete E. ; Egekvist, Josefine ; Fock, Heino O. ; Geitner, Kerstin ; Gerritsen, Hans D. ; González, Manuel Marín ; Jonsson, Patrik ; Kavadas, Stefanos ; Laffargue, Pascal ; Lundy, Mathieu ; Gonzalez-Mirelis, Genoveva ; Nielsen, J.R. ; Papadopoulou, Nadia ; Posen, Paulette E. ; Pulcinella, Jacopo ; Russo, Tommaso ; Sala, Antonello ; Silva, Cristina ; Smith, Christopher J. ; Vanelslander, Bart ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. - \ 2017
ICES Journal of Marine Science 74 (2017)3. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 847 - 865.
benthic impact - bottom trawl - fishing pressure - indicators - Mediterranean Sea - Northeast Atlantic - seabed habitat - seabed integrity - trawling footprint - trawling intensity
Mapping trawling pressure on the benthic habitats is needed as background to support an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. The extent and intensity of bottom trawling on the European continental shelf (0-1000 m) was analysed from logbook statistics and vessel monitoring system data for 2010-2012 at a grid cell resolution of 1 1 min longitude and latitude. Trawling intensity profiles with seabed impact at the surface and subsurface level are presented for 14 management areas in the North-east Atlantic, Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The footprint of the management areas ranged between 53-99% and 6-94% for the depth zone from 0 to 200 m (Shallow) and from 201 to 1000 m (Deep), respectively. The footprint was estimated as the total area of all grid cells that were trawled fully or partially. Excluding the untrawled proportions reduced the footprint estimates to 28-85% and 2-77%. Largest footprints per unit landings were observed off Portugal and in the Mediterranean Sea. Mean trawling intensity ranged between 0.5 and 8.5 times per year, but was less in the Deep zone with a maximum intensity of 6.4. Highest intensities were recorded in the Skagerrak-Kattegat, Iberian Portuguese area, Tyrrhenian Sea and Adriatic Sea. Bottom trawling was highly aggregated. For the Shallow zone the seabed area where 90% of the effort occurred comprised between 17% and 63% (median 36%) of the management area. Footprints were high over a broad range of soft sediment habitats. Using the longevity distribution of the untrawled infaunal community, the seabed integrity was estimated as the proportion of the biomass of benthic taxa where the trawling interval at the subsurface level exceeds their life span. Seabed integrity was low (>0.1) in large parts of the European continental shelfs, although smaller pockets of seabed with higher integrity values occur. The methods developed here integrate official fishing effort statistics and industry-based gear information to provide high-resolution pressure maps and indicators, which greatly improve the basis for assessing and managing benthic pressure from bottom trawling. Further they provide quantitative estimates of trawling impact on a continuous scale by which managers can steer.
Procesindicatoren PAS : rapportage 2016
Smits, N.A.C. ; Mucher, C.A. ; Ozinga, W.A. ; Waal, R.W. de; Wamelink, G.W.W. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2771) - 61
stikstof - indicatoren - monitoring - ecologisch herstel - habitats - vegetatie - nitrogen - indicators - ecological restoration - vegetation
In het kader van het Programma Aanpak Stikstof (PAS) is in 2016 doorgewerkt aan een aantal onderwerpen rondom de ecologische onderbouwing van het PAS, waaronder de procesindicatoren. Binnen de PAS-monitoring is afgesproken dat het proces van natuurherstel ook op korte termijn gevolgd wordt om zo snel mogelijk de effectiviteit van de herstelmaatregelen in kaart te brengen. Hiervoor zijn de PAS-procesindicatoren ontwikkeld. Deze procesindicatoren zijn vooral bedoeld om een indicatie van het herstelproces te geven. Deze procesindicatoren kunnen verschillen per habitattype en per maatregel, maar ook per gebied. Om die redenen is een flexibel systeem ontworpen met diverse parameters: luchtfoto’s, abiotische metingen, vegetatie en soorten. De huidige rapportage betreft de verslaglegging van de ontwikkelde systematiek van PAS-procesindicatoren.
Verkenning indicatoren voor de beoordeling van terrestrische natuurkwaliteit op provinciaal schaalniveau
Greft-van Rossum, J.G.M. van der; Zee, F.F. van der; Knegt, B. de; Pouwels, R. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2750) - 27
natuur - provincies - natuurbeheer - ecologische beoordeling - kwaliteit - indicatoren - nature - provinces - nature management - ecological assessment - quality - indicators
Provincies in Nederland zijn na de decentralisatie meer verantwoordelijk voor de natuurkwaliteit in de provincies. Om de outcome van het natuurbeleid te kunnen monitoren en hierover de Provinciale Staten te kunnen informeren, hebben provincies behoefte aan indicatoren die de kwaliteit van de natuur in de provincie weergeven. De afgelopen jaren is deze kwaliteit in Nederland op verschillende wijzen beoordeeld. Ook zijn enkele provincies gestart met het ontwikkelen van provinciale indicatoren. Het is echter onbekend of alle provincies dezelfde indicatoren willen gebruiken en in hoeverre deze samenhangen met indicatoren op landelijk schaalniveau. In dit project wordt een overzicht gegeven van indicatoren voor de terrestrische natuur en op basis van enkele schema’s wordt de samenhang van de indicatoren weergegeven. Deze schema’s geven inzicht waar provinciale indicatoren mogelijk goed aansluiten bij nationale indicatoren en waar eventuele knelpunten liggen voor een uitwerking op provinciaal niveau. Aandachtspunt daarbij is optimaal gebruik van monitoringssystemen. Naast de indicatoren die momenteel gebruikt worden, is er behoefte aan indicatoren voor het agrarisch gebied en het stedelijk gebied.
Effect Ca- en Mg-meststoffen op bodemkwaliteit en grasproductie op veengrond
Deru, Joachim ; Eekeren, Nick van; Lenssinck, F.A.J. ; Bloem, J. - \ 2016
V-focus 13 (2016)3. - ISSN 1574-1575 - p. 29 - 31.
veengronden - graslanden - stikstof - calciummeststoffen - magnesiummeststoffen - indicatoren - bodemkwaliteit - duurzaam bodemgebruik - landbouwkundig onderzoek - peat soils - grasslands - nitrogen - calcium fertilizers - magnesium fertilizers - indicators - soil quality - sustainable land use - agricultural research
Uit onderzoek in 2010 blijkt dat het gemeten stikstofleverend vermogen van veengraslanden varieert tussen 170 en 340 kg N per ha, en dat de verhouding tussen calcium (Ca) en magnesium (Mg) in de bodem hier een belangrijke voorspeller voor is. In het kader van het project ‘Bodemindicatoren voor duurzaam bodemgebruik in de veenweiden’ hebben het Louis Bolk Instituut, het Veenweiden Innovatiecentrum en WUR-Alterra onderzocht of er ook een oorzakelijk verband is tussen de Ca/Mg-verhouding en het stikstofleverend vermogen. Verschillende calcium- en magnesiummeststoffen zijn hiervoor getoetst.
Reconciling nature conservation and traditional farming practices: a spatially explicit framework to assess the extent of High Nature Value farmlands in the European countryside
Araujo Rodrigues Lomba, Angela de; Alves, Paulo ; Jongman, R.H.G. ; McCracken, D. - \ 2015
Ecology and Evolution 5 (2015)5. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 1031 - 1044.
Agri-environment schemes - agro-biodiversity - conservation and monitoring programs - indicators
Agriculture constitutes a dominant land cover worldwide, and rural landscapes
under extensive farming practices acknowledged due to high biodiversity
levels. The High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) concept has been
highlighted in the EU environmental and rural policies due to their inherent
potential to help characterize and direct financial support to European landscapes
where high nature and/or conservation value is dependent on the
continuation of specific low-intensity farming systems. 2 Assessing the extent of HNV farmland by necessity relies on the availability of both ecological and farming systems’ data, and difficulties associated with making such assessments have been widely described across Europe. A spatially explicit framework of data collection, building out from local administrative units, has recently been suggested as a means of addressing such difficulties. 3 This manuscript tests the relevance of the proposed approach, describes the spatially explicit framework in a case study area in northern Portugal, and discusses the potential of the approach to help better inform the implementation of conservation and rural development policies. 4 Synthesis and applications: The potential of a novel approach (combining land use/cover, farming and environmental data) to provide more accurate and efficient mapping and monitoring of HNV farmlands is tested at the local level in northern Portugal. The approach is considered to constitute a step forward toward a more precise targeting of landscapes for agri-environment schemes, as it allowed a more accurate discrimination of areas within the case study landscape that have a higher value for nature conservation.
Strong recovery of dragonflies in recent decades in The Netherlands
Termaat, T. ; Grunsven, R.H.A. van; Plate, C.L. ; Strien, A. van - \ 2015
Freshwater Science 34 (2015)3. - ISSN 2161-9549 - p. 1094 - 1104.
change odonata corduliidae - boreal forest lakes - climate-change - trends - conservation - assemblages - indicators - integrity - abundance - plants
Many dragonfly species in The Netherlands declined in the 20th century because of acidification, eutrophication, and desiccation of lotic and lentic habitats and canalization of streams and rivers. These pressures peaked in the 1970s, when 26 of 65 native species had an unfavorable conservation status on the 1997 Dutch Red List. Since the 1980s, environmental regulations have led to improved water quality, and any habitat restoration projects have been carried out. We used standardized monitoring data (1999–2013) and unstandardized observations (1991–2013) to investigate how dragonflies have changed in the last 20 y on a national scale. We compared trends of dragonfly species from different habitat types and with southern vs northern distribution in Europe. Dragonflies recovered strongly in The Netherlands in a period of ~20 y, probably because of recent habitat improvements. Lotic species have benefitted more than lentic species, and southern species have more positive trends than northern species, suggesting that climate change has contributed to the recovery. Dragonflies were resilient and able to quickly recover when their habitats were restored. Recovery has led to a better conservation status for many species. Unstandardized data delivered results consistent with those from monitoring data and had greater statistical power to detect trends because many more unstandardized data than standardized data were available. Thus, when the goal is to provide a general overview of changes in dragonflies, unstandardized data can outperform standardized abundance data. However, abundance data may deliver complementary information for individual species. Our results support the suitability of dragonflies as indicators of freshwater habitat condition, but they recover more strongly in The Netherlands than many other insects, possibly because of their higher dispersal abilities or different habitat requirements.
Leverages for on-farm innovation from farm typologies? An illustration for family-based dairy farms in north-west Michoacán, Mexico
Cortez Arriola, J. ; Rossing, W.A.H. ; Amendola Massiotti, R.D. ; Scholberg, J.M.S. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Tittonell, P.A. - \ 2015
Agricultural Systems 135 (2015). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 66 - 76.
impact assessment - management - diversity - systems - scale - indicators - households - migration
Knowledge on farm diversity provides insight into differences among farms, enables scaling from individual farm to farm population level and vice versa, and has been used in the definition of recommendation domains for introduction of novel technologies. Farm diversity can be broadly described in terms of resource endowment and resource use strategy, or in other words, in terms of scale and intensity of production. Measuring intensity of production requires much greater monitoring effort than measuring scale of production, and often only proxies of production intensity are used. Using data from a regional farm survey and from intensive on-farm monitoring the question addressed in this paper is to which extent results of farm surveys that measure primarily scale of production can inform on-farm interventions aimed at improving farm performance. The survey included a random sample of 97 out of 664 smallholder dairy farmers in a community in north-west Michoacán, Mexico. Farm types were identified by a combination of Principal Component Analysis to reduce the dimensionality of the dataset, followed by Cluster Analysis. The survey was complemented with detailed analyses of costs, revenues and productivity on 6 farms over the course of one year. Survey results revealed considerable variation among the dairy farms in land area, livestock units, amount of hired labour, and infrastructure and equipment, which led to the distinction of 4 farm types. Indicators for animal health management and feeding strategies were uniform across the 4 types. The farm types matched the distinction of family-based and semi-intensive farm types used in Mexico. The detailed analyses of the individual farms belonging to the different types, however, revealed differences in resource use strategies reflected in differences in animal productivity, labour productivity and return to labour. Differences in animal productivity and labour productivity were explained by stocking rate, albeit in different ways. Return to labour was strongly related to cost of feed. Profitability was negative for all farms and was on most farms related to high external feedstuff costs, which constituted 59–89% of the feed cost of the animal ration. The results indicate that in addition to variables reflecting resource endowment or scale of production, typologies that aim to inform on-farm interventions need to consider farm characteristics that reflect intensity of production. Which variables should be selected will need to be determined in a preliminary assessment. To enhance internal resource use efficiency as was the purpose in the current study, candidate variables expressing intensity could include the share of external feed in the ration and proxies of internal resource use, e.g. reflected in crop and milk yields. Opportunities for on-farm innovation arising from the analyses are discussed from the perspective of labour flexibility, low costs and use of internal resources.
Proxy markers of serum retinol concentration, used alone and in combination, to assess population vitamin A status in Kenyan children: a cross-sectional study
Talsma, E.F. ; Verhoef, H. ; Brouwer, I.D. ; Mburu-de Wagt, A.S. ; Hulshof, P.J.M. ; Boonstra, A. - \ 2015
BMC Medicine 13 (2015). - ISSN 1741-7015 - 9 p.
binding-protein - transthyretin - deficiency - indicators
Background Serum retinol concentration determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is recommended by the World Health Organization to assess population vitamin A status. This assay is expensive, technically demanding and rarely available in developing countries. Our objective was a) to assess the diagnostic performance of proxy markers in detecting vitamin A deficiency and b) to derive decision rules based on these markers to estimate vitamin A deficiency prevalence. Methods A survey was conducted in 15 rural primary schools in Eastern Province, Kenya, with 375 children aged 6 to 12 years (25 randomly selected per school). Serum retinol concentration ¿0.496} yielded prevalence estimates of vitamin A deficiency that is unbiased by diagnostic error. Conclusions The combination of transthyretin, RBP and C-reactive protein concentrations could eventually replace retinol concentration by HPLC in resource-poor settings as the preferred method to assess the population burden of vitamin A deficiency.
Assessing the sustainability of egg production systems in the Netherlands
Asselt, E.D. van; Bussel, L.G.J. van; Horne, P.L.M. van; Voet, H. van der; Heijden, G.W.A.M. van der; Fels, H.J. van der - \ 2015
Poultry Science 94 (2015)8. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 1742 - 1750.
different housing systems - environmental impacts - animal-welfare - indicators - food
Housing systems for laying hens have changed over the years due to increased public concern regarding animal welfare. In terms of sustainability, animal welfare is just one aspect that needs to be considered. Social aspects as well as environmental and economic factors need to be included as well. In this study, we assessed the sustainability of enriched cage, barn, free-range, and organic egg production systems following a predefined protocol. Indicators were selected within the social, environmental, and economic dimensions, after which parameter values and sustainability limits were set for the core indicators in order to quantify sustainability. Uncertainty in the parameter values as well as assigned weights and compensabilities of the indicators influenced the outcome of the sustainability assessment. Using equal weights for the indicators showed that, for the Dutch situation, enriched cage egg production was most sustainable, having the highest score on the environmental dimension, whereas free-range egg production gave the highest score in the social dimension (covering food safety, animal welfare, and human welfare). In the economic dimension both enriched cage egg and organic egg production had the highest sustainability score. When weights were attributed according to stakeholder outputs, individual differences were seen, but the overall scores were comparable to the sustainability scores based on equal weights. The provided method enabled a quantification of sustainability using input from stakeholders to include societal preferences in the overall assessment. Allowing for different weights and compensabilities helps policymakers in communicating with stakeholders involved and provides a weighted decision regarding future housing systems for laying hens.
A method to assess social sustainability of capture fisheries: An application to a Norwegian trawler
Veldhuizen, L.J.L. ; Berentsen, P.B.M. ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2015
Environmental Impact Assessment Review 53 (2015). - ISSN 0195-9255 - p. 31 - 39.
time-temperature integrators - different quality parameters - production systems - egg-production - swot analysis - indicators - fish - farm - appraisal - rapfish
Social sustainability assessment of capture fisheries is, both in terms of method development and measurement, not well developed. The objective of this study, therefore, was to develop a method consisting of indicators and rubrics (i.e. categories that articulate levels of performance) to assess social sustainability of capture fisheries. This method was applied to a Norwegian trawler that targets cod and haddock in the northeast Atlantic. Based on previous research, 13 social sustainability issues were selected. To measure the state of these issues, 17 process and outcome indicators were determined. To interpret indicator values, rubrics were developed for each indicator, using standards set by international conventions or data retrieved from national statistics, industry agreements or scientific publications that explore rubric scales. The indicators and rubrics were subsequently used in a social sustainability assessment of a Norwegian trawler. This assessment indicated that overall, social sustainability of this trawler is relatively high, with high rubric scores, for example, for worker safety, provisions aboard for the crew and companies' salary levels. The assessment also indicated that the trawler could improve on healthy working environment, product freshness and fish welfare during capture. This application demonstrated that our method provides insight into social sustainability at the level of the vessel and can be used to identify potential room for improvement. This method is also promising for social sustainability assessment of other capture fisheries.
Profit fluctuations signal eroding resilience of natural resources
Richter, A.P. ; Dakos, V. - \ 2015
Ecological Economics 117 (2015). - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 12 - 21.
social-ecological systems - early-warning signals - regime shifts - fisheries management - ecosystem services - tipping point - slowing-down - fish stocks - extinction - indicators
A common pattern of environmental crises is a vicious cycle between environmental degradation and socio-economic disturbances. Here we show that while such feedbacks may give rise to critical transitions in social-ecological systems, at the same time they can offer novel o0pportunities for anticipating them. We model a community that has joint access to the harvest grounds of a resource that is prone to collapse. Individuals are tempted to overexploit the resource, while a cooperative harvesting norm spreads through the community via interprersonal relations. Both social and ecological collapses can be induced by environmental or socio-economic driving forces. Regardless of the type and cause of collapse we find that upcoming transitions may be detected using simple socio-economic response variables, such as individual profits. Our findings suggest that such alternative sources of information can be used to detect upcoming critical transitions in social-ecological systems. However, we also find that robust detection of critical transitions may be confounded by recovery attempts undertaken by resource users in the vicinity of an upcoming collapse, which may be falsely interpreted as a stabilization of the social-ecological system.
Social sustainability of cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic: what issues are important?
Veldhuizen, L.J.L. ; Berentsen, P. ; Bokkers, E.A.M. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2015
Journal of Cleaner Production 94 (2015). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 76 - 85.
life-cycle assessment - environmental impacts - production systems - fish - categories - indicators - products - welfare - stress - salmon
Research on the sustainability of capture fisheries has focused more on environmental and economic sustainability than on social sustainability. To assess social sustainability, first relevant and important social sustainability issues need to be identified. The objective of this study was to identify relevant social sustainability issues for cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic and to determine the importance of these issues based on stakeholder input. A heterogeneous group of stakeholders was invited to take part in two consecutive surveys on social sustainability issues. The first survey (n=41) resulted in a long list of 27 relevant social sustainability issues, including six issues that were not identified in previous studies and that address aspects of fish welfare, employees' training and education opportunities, and employees' time off from work. The second survey (n=51) resulted in a ranking of the social sustainability issues in order of importance. The most important issues are worker safety, product freshness and companies' salary levels. In general, social sustainability issues concerning working conditions, employees' job fulfilment and fish welfare are seen as more important than other social sustainability issues. A main discussion point concerns the relation between the importance of a social sustainability issue on the one hand and the type of need that the issue relates to and the state of the issue on the other hand. From the study it can be concluded that the relative importance of social sustainability issues differs per stakeholder group depending on the relation between the stakeholder group and each particular issue. This demonstrates the importance of consulting different stakeholder groups in future studies on social sustainability in order to get a balanced view on the importance of social sustainability issues. Results on the relevance and importance of social sustainability issues for cod and haddock fisheries in the northeast Atlantic enable the fishing industry and policy-makers to direct improvement efforts towards the more important issues. ©
Sustainability of milk production in the Netherlands - A comparison between raw organic, pasteurised organic and conventional milk
Asselt, E.D. van; Capuano, E. ; Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der - \ 2015
International Dairy Journal 47 (2015). - ISSN 0958-6946 - p. 19 - 26.
life-cycle assessment - environmental impacts - production systems - dairy farms - tool - metaanalysis - agriculture - consumption - indicators - quality
Consumer preferences are changing, resulting in an increased demand for both organic milk and raw milk due to their perceived higher nutritional value and positive contribution to animal welfare. To compare the advantages and disadvantages of these products with conventional pasteurised milk, a sustainability assessment was performed incorporating social, environmental and economic factors. The assessment showed that raw organic milk gave the highest overall sustainability score. This is due to, for example, a high score for animal welfare and a high score for the environmental factors due to the omission of the pasteurisation step compared with conventional milk. The latter may pose human health risks due to the possible presence of pathogens in raw milk. As the approach followed is transparent, it allows policy makers to discuss the outcome of the sustainability assessment both with stakeholders and the general public, which will facilitate the decision making process.
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