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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    Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe
    Tsiafouli, M.A. ; Thébault, E. ; Sgardelis, S. ; Ruiter, P.C. de; Putten, W.H. van der; Birkhofer, K. ; Hemerik, L. ; Vries, F.T. de; Bardgett, R.D. ; Brady, M. ; Bjornlund, L. ; Bracht Jörgensen, H. ; Christensen, S. ; Herfelt, T. D'; Hotes, S. ; Hol, W.H.G. ; Frouz, J. ; Liiri, M. ; Mortimer, S.R. ; Setälä, H. ; Stary, J. ; Tzanopoulos, J. ; Uteseny, C. ; Wolters, V. ; Hedlund, K. - \ 2015
    Global Change Biology 21 (2015)2. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 973 - 985.
    food-web structure - land-use intensity - taxonomic distinctness - community structure - phylogenetic diversity - arthropod communities - temporal variability - 7-year period - ecosystem - management
    Soil biodiversity plays a key role in regulating the processes that underpin the delivery of ecosystem goods and services in terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural intensification is known to change the diversity of individual groups of soil biota, but less is known about how intensification affects biodiversity of the soil food web as a whole, and whether or not these effects may be generalized across regions. We examined biodiversity in soil food webs from grasslands, extensive, and intensive rotations in four agricultural regions across Europe: in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Effects of land-use intensity were quantified based on structure and diversity among functional groups in the soil food web, as well as on community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. We also elucidate land-use intensity effects on diversity of taxonomic units within taxonomic groups of soil fauna. We found that between regions soil food web diversity measures were variable, but that increasing land-use intensity caused highly consistent responses. In particular, land-use intensification reduced the complexity in the soil food webs, as well as the community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. In all regions across Europe, species richness of earthworms, Collembolans, and oribatid mites was negatively affected by increased land-use intensity. The taxonomic distinctness, which is a measure of taxonomic relatedness of species in a community that is independent of species richness, was also reduced by land-use intensification. We conclude that intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity, making soil food webs less diverse and composed of smaller bodied organisms. Land-use intensification results in fewer functional groups of soil biota with fewer and taxonomically more closely related species. We discuss how these changes in soil biodiversity due to land-use intensification may threaten the functioning of soil in agricultural production systems.
    Consequences of stressor-induced changes in species assemblage for biodiversity indicators
    Vries, P. de; Smit, M.G.D. ; Dalfsen, J.A. van; Laender, F. de; Karman, C.C. - \ 2010
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29 (2010)8. - ISSN 0730-7268 - p. 1868 - 1876.
    marine-biotic-index - taxonomic distinctness - drilling discharges - management tool - food webs - ecosystems - risk - quality - applicability - distributions
    Protection of biodiversity is a major objective in environmental management. However, standard protocols for ecological risk assessments use endpoints that are not directly related to biodiversity. In the present study, the changes in five biodiversity indicators, namely, the Hill, Shannon-Wiener, Simpson's diversity index, AZTI's Marine Benthic Index (AMBI), and Benthic Quality Index (BQI), are calculated in case species experience direct chemical effects. This is done for an uncontaminated situation as well as for situations in which the effect concentration of a certain fraction of species (x%) is exceeded, that is, at the hazardous concentration (HCx) of the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) of the considered community. Results indicate that the response of the biodiversity indicators to concentrations spanning the complete concentration range of the SSD is variable. This response depends mainly on the type of indicator, the species assemblage, and the ratio of the slope of the concentration effect curves of the species and the slope of the SSD. At the HC5, a commonly used threshold in environmental risk assessment, biodiversity indicators, are affected at a marginal level (change is less than 5% in 99.6% of the simulated cases). Based on the results, the HC5 level is likely to be a protective threshold for changes in biodiversity in terms of richness and heterogeneity in the vast majority of the simulated cases (99.6%) for chemicals for which direct effects are dominant.
    Data integration for European marine biodiversity research: creating a database on benthos and plankton to study large-scale patterns and long-term changes
    Vandepitte, L. ; Vanhoorne, B. ; Kraberg, A. ; Craeymeersch, J.A.M. - \ 2010
    Hydrobiologia 644 (2010)1. - ISSN 0018-8158 - p. 1 - 13.
    taxonomic distinctness - baltic sea - diversity - assemblages - ecology - waters - index - tool
    The general aim of setting up a central database on benthos and plankton was to integrate long-, medium- and short-term datasets on marine biodiversity. Such a database makes it possible to analyse species assemblages and their changes on spatial and temporal scales across Europe. Data collation lasted from early 2007 until August 2008, during which 67 datasets were collected covering three divergent habitats (rocky shores, soft bottoms and the pelagic environment). The database contains a total of 4,525 distinct taxa, 17,117 unique sampling locations and over 45,500 collected samples, representing almost 542,000 distribution records. The database geographically covers the North Sea (221,452 distribution records), the North-East Atlantic (98,796 distribution records) and furthermore the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and the Mediterranean. Data from 1858 to 2008 are presented in the database, with the longest time-series from the Baltic Sea soft bottom benthos. Each delivered dataset was subjected to certain quality control procedures, especially on the level of taxonomy. The standardisation procedure enables pan-European analyses without the hazard of taxonomic artefacts resulting from different determination skills. A case study on rocky shore and pelagic data in different geographical regions shows a general overestimation of biodiversity when making use of data before quality control compared to the same estimations after quality control. These results prove that the contribution of a misspelled name or the use of an obsolete synonym is comparable to the introduction of a rare species, having adverse effects on further diversity calculations. The quality checked data source is now ready to test geographical and temporal hypotheses on a large scale
    Biological geography of the European seas: results from the MacroBen database
    Arvanitidis, C. ; Somerfield, P.J. ; Rumohr, H. ; Faulwetter, S. ; Craeymeersch, J.A.M. - \ 2009
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 382 (2009). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 265 - 278.
    norwegian continental-shelf - taxonomic distinctness - distribution patterns - biodiversity - community - diversity - ecosystem - benthos - scale - gradient
    This study examines whether or not biogeographical and/or managerial divisions across the European seas can be validated using soft-bottom macrobenthic community data. The faunal groups used were: all macrobenthos groups, polychaetes, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, sipunculans and the last 5 groups combined. In order to test the discriminating power of these groups, 3 criteria were used: (1) proximity, which refers to the expected closer faunal resemblance of adjacent areas relative to more distant ones; (2) randomness, which in the present context is a measure of the degree to which the inventories of the various sectors, provinces or regions may in each case be considered as a random sample of the inventory of the next largest province or region in a hierarchy of geographic scales; and (3) differentiation, which provides a measure of the uniqueness of the pattern. Results show that only polychaetes fulfill all 3 criteria and that the only marine biogeographic system supported by the analyses is the one proposed by Longhurst (1998). Energy fluxes and other interactions between the planktonic and benthic domains, acting over evolutionary time scales, can be associated with the multivariate pattern derived from the macrobenthos datasets. Third-stage multidimensional scaling ordination reveals that polychaetes produce a unique pattern when all systems are under consideration. Average island distance from the nearest coast, number of islands and the island surface area were the geographic variables best correlated with the community patterns produced by polychaetes. Biogeographic patterns suggest a vicariance model dominating over the founder-dispersal model except for the semi-closed regional seas, where a model substantially modified from the second option could be supported.
    Assessing evidence for random assembly of marine benthic communities from regional species pools
    Somerfield, P.J. ; Arvanitidis, C. ; Faulwetter, S. ; Chatzigeorgiou, G. ; Craeymeersch, J.A.M. - \ 2009
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 382 (2009). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 279 - 286.
    taxonomic distinctness - ecological communities - macrobenthic community - neutral theory - gall wasps - diversity - richness - biodiversity - rules - scale
    Local species diversity may be determined by processes operating locally, such as disturbance, predation and competition, or by regional processes, such as environmental structuring or history. Classical theory focusing on competition predicts that the species combining to form communities will be less similar to each other than they would be if they were assembled at random from a regional species pool. Theory focusing on environmental structuring predicts that species will be more similar to each other than expected by chance. A randomisation test that determines the extent to which local species lists represent random selections from a regional list, based on the average relatedness between species, was applied to data held in the MacroBen database. Little or no evidence was found for species lists of whole faunas at any scale being random subsets of species lists at larger scales. Species tend to be more closely related to each other than would be expected if they were assembled at random. Thus marine soft-sediment macrofauna are not locally assembled at random from regional species pools and it is likely that regional processes determine the assembly of communities. Focusing on the most abundant class within the macrofauna, a different pattern emerges, in that there is a much stronger tendency for local polychaete composition to be a random subset from regional pools at all scales. Thus it is not possible to determine whether local polychaete diversity is independent of both local and regional processes, or determined by a combination of both acting
    MacroBen integrated database on benthic invertebrates of European continental shelves: a tool for large-scale analysis across Europe
    Vanden Berghe, E. ; Claus, S. ; Appeltans, W. ; Faulwetter, S. ; Craeymeersch, J.A.M. - \ 2009
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 382 (2009). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 225 - 238.
    biogeographic information-system - western mediterranean sea - marine biotic index - abra-alba community - taxonomic distinctness - bottom assemblages - lanice-conchilega - gialova lagoon - ionian sea - black-sea
    We describe an integrated database on European macrobenthic fauna, developed within the framework of the European Network of Excellence MarBEF, and the data and data integration exercise that provided its content. A total of 44 datasets including 465 354 distribution records from soft-bottom macrobenthic species were uploaded into the relational MacroBen database, corresponding to 22 897 sampled stations from all European seas, and 7203 valid taxa. All taxonomic names were linked to the European Register of Marine Species, which was used as the taxonomic reference to standardise spelling and harmonise synonymy. An interface was created, allowing the user to explore, subselect, export and analyse the data by calculating different indices. Although the sampling techniques and intended use of the datasets varied tremendously, the integrated database proved to be robust, and an important tool for studying and understanding large-scale long-term distributions and abundances of marine benthic life. Crucial in the process was the willingness and the positive data-sharing attitude of the different data contributors. Development of a data policy that is highly aware of sensitivities and ownership issues of data providers was essential in the creation of this goodwill.
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