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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Assessing bottom trawling impacts based on the longevity of benthic invertebrates
Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Sciberras, Marija ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Cambiè, Giulia ; McConnaughey, Robert A. ; Mazor, Tessa ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. - \ 2019
Journal of Applied Ecology 56 (2019)5. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1075 - 1084.
benthic invertebrates - bottom trawl - fisheries management - impact assessment - life-history meta-analysis - seabed disturbance - systematic review

Bottom trawling is the most widespread human activity directly affecting seabed habitats. Assessment and effective management of the effects of bottom trawling at the scale of fisheries requires an understanding of differences in sensitivity of biota to trawling. Responses to disturbance are expected to depend on the intrinsic rate of increase in populations (r), which is expected to be linearly related to the reciprocal of longevity. We examine the relationship between the longevity of benthic invertebrates and their response to bottom trawling; both in terms of the immediate mortality following a trawl pass and their subsequent rates of recovery. We collate all available data from experimental and comparative trawling studies, and test how longevity influences these aspects of sensitivity. The shortest lived organisms (<1 year) increased in abundance shortly after experimental trawling but showed no response to trawling in long-term comparative studies. Conversely, the abundance of biota with a life span >1 year decreased by ~9% immediately following a trawl pass. The effect of bottom trawling in comparative studies increased with longevity, with a 2–3× larger effect on biota living >10 years than on biota living 1–3 years. We attribute this difference to the slower recovery rates of the long-lived biota. The observed relationship between the intrinsic rate of population increase (r, our metric of recovery rate) and the reciprocal of longevity matches theoretical expectation and predicts that the sensitivity of habitats to bottom trawling is higher in habitats with higher proportions of long-lived organisms. Synthesis and applications. Where the longevity of a species or the longevity distribution of a community is known or can be inferred, our estimates of depletion and intrinsic rate of increase can be combined with high-resolution maps of trawling intensity to assess trawling impacts at the scale of the fishery or other defined unit of assessment. Our estimates of r may also be used to estimate recovery times following other forms of seabed disturbance.

Data from: Assessing bottom-trawling impacts based on the longevity of benthic invertebrates
Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Sciberras, Marija ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Cambiè, Giulia ; Mcconnaughey, Robert A. ; Mazor, Tessa ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2018
fisheries management - bottom trawl - benthic invertebrates - impact assessment - meta-analysis - systematic review - life history - seabed disturbance
Bottom trawling is the most widespread human activity directly affecting seabed habitats. Assessment and effective management of the effects of bottom trawling at the scale of fisheries requires an understanding of differences in sensitivity of biota to trawling. Responses to disturbance are expected to depend on the intrinsic rate of increase of populations (r), which is expected to be linearly related to the reciprocal of longevity. 2. We examine the relationship between the longevity of benthic invertebrates and their response to bottom trawling; both in terms of the immediate mortality following a trawl pass and their subsequent rates of recovery. We collate all available data from experimental and comparative trawling studies, and test how longevity influences these aspects of sensitivity. 3. The shortest-lived organisms (<1yr) increased in abundance shortly after experimental trawling, but showed no response to trawling in longer-term comparative studies. Conversely, the abundance of biota with a life-span >1yr decreased by ~9% immediately following a trawl pass. The effect of bottom trawling in comparative studies increased with longevity, with a 2-3× larger effect on biota living >10yr than on biota living 1-3yr. We attribute this difference to the slower recovery rates of the longer-lived biota. 4. The observed relationship between the intrinsic rate of population increase (r, our metric of recovery rate) and the reciprocal of longevity matches theoretical expectation and predicts that the sensitivity of habitats to bottom trawling is higher in habitats with higher proportions of long-lived organisms. 5. Synthesis and Applications. Where the longevity of a species or the longevity distribution of a community is known or can be inferred, our estimates of depletion and intrinsic rate of increase can be combined with high-resolution maps of trawling intensity to assess trawling impacts at the scale of the fishery or other defined unit of assessment. Our estimates of r may also be used to estimate recovery times following other forms of seabed disturbance.
Data from: Estimating sensitivity of seabed habitats to disturbance by bottom trawling based on the longevity of benthic fauna
Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Garcia, Clement ; Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Hintzen, N.T. ; Denderen, P.D. van; Kooten, T. van - \ 2018
benthos
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 analyse 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 >2cm, shifted the community towards 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.
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.

Differences in biological traits composition of benthic assemblages between unimpacted habitats
Bolam, S.G. ; Garcia, C. ; Eggleton, J. ; Kenny, A.J. ; Buhl-Mortensen, L. ; Gonzalez-Mirelis, G. ; Kooten, T. van; Dinesen, G. ; Hansen, J. ; Hiddink, J.G. ; Sciberras, M. ; Smith, C. ; Papadopoulou, N. ; Gumus, A. ; Hoey, G. Van; Eigaard, O.R. ; Bastardie, F. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2017
Marine Environmental Research 126 (2017). - ISSN 0141-1136 - p. 1 - 13.
Biological traits - European shelf - Infauna - Unimpacted assemblages
There is an implicit requirement under contemporary policy drivers to understand the characteristics of benthic communities under anthropogenically-unimpacted scenarios. We used a trait-based approach on a large dataset from across the European shelf to determine how functional characteristics of unimpacted benthic assemblages vary between different sedimentary habitats. Assemblages in deep, muddy environments unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance show increased proportions of downward conveyors and surface deposit-feeders, while burrowing, diffusive mixing, scavenging and predation traits assume greater numerical proportions in shallower habitats. Deep, coarser sediments are numerically more dominated by sessile, upward conveyors and suspension feeders. In contrast, unimpacted assemblages of coarse sediments in shallower regions are proportionally dominated by the diffusive mixers, burrowers, scavengers and predators. Finally, assemblages of gravelly sediments exhibit a relatively greater numerical dominance of non-bioturbators and asexual reproducers. These findings may be used to form the basis of ranking habitats along a functional sensitivity gradient.
Towards a framework for the quantitative assessment of trawling impact on the seabed and benthic ecoystem
Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Bastardie, F. ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Hintzen, N.T. ; Bolam, S.G. ; Buhl-Mortensen, L. ; Eigaard, O.R. ; Hamon, K.G. ; Piet, G.J. ; Denderen, P.D. van; Kooten, T. van - \ 2016
ICES Journal of Marine Science 73 (2016)S1. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. i127 - i138.
benthos - biological traits - Good environmental status - Indicators - Method
A framework to assess the impact of mobile fishing gear on the seabed and benthic ecosystem is presented. The framework that can be used at regional and local scales provides indicators for both trawling pressure and ecological impact. It builds on high-resolution maps of trawling intensity and considers the physical effects of trawl gears on the seabed, on marine taxa, and on the functioning of the benthic ecosystem. Within the framework, a reductionist approach is applied that breaks down a fishing gear into its components, and a number of biological traits are chosen to determine either the vulnerability of the benthos to the impact of that gear component, or to provide a proxy for their ecological role. The approach considers gear elements, such as otter boards, twin trawl clump, and groundrope, and sweeps that herd the fish. The physical impact of these elements on the seabed, comprising scraping of the seabed, sediment mobilization, and penetration, is a function of the mass, size, and speed of the individual component. The impact of the elements on the benthic community is quantified using a biological-trait approach that considers the vulnerability of the benthic community to trawl impact (e.g. sediment position, morphology), the recovery rate (e.g. longevity, maturation age, reproductive characteristics, dispersal), and their ecological role. The framework is explored to compare the indicators for pressure and ecological impact of bottom trawling in three main seabed habitat types in the North Sea. Preliminary results show that the Sublittoral mud (EUNIS A5.3) is affected the most due to the combined effect of intensive fishing and large proportions of long-lived taxa
Similar effects of bottom trawling and natural disturbance on composition and function of benthic communities across habitats
Denderen, Daniel van; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Kenny, Andrew ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. ; Kooten, Tobias Van - \ 2015
Marine Ecology Progress Series 541 (2015). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 31 - 43.
Beam trawling - Bed shear stress - Benthic community - Biological trait approach - Bottom trawling - Disturbance - Ecosystem function - Otter trawling

Bottom trawl fishing has widespread impacts on benthic habitats and communities. The benthic response to trawling seems to be smaller or absent in areas exposed to high natural disturbance, leading to the hypothesis that natural and trawl disturbance affect benthic communities in a similar way. However, systematic tests of this hypothesis at large spatial scales and with data from sites spanning a large range of natural disturbance do not exist. Here, we examine the effects of trawl and natural (tidal-bed shear stress) disturbance on benthic communities over gradients of commercial bottom trawling effort in 8 areas in the North and Irish Seas. Using a traitbased approach, that classified species by life-history strategies or by characteristics that provide a proxy for their role in community function, we found support for the hypothesis that trawl and natural disturbance affect benthic communities in similar ways. Both sources of disturbance caused declines in long-living, hard-bodied (exoskeleton) and suspension-feeding organisms. Given these similar impacts, there was no detectable trawling effect on communities exposed to high natural disturbance. Conversely, in 3 out of 5 areas with low bed shear stress, responses to trawling were detected and resulted in community compositions comparable with those in areas subject to high natural disturbance, with communities being composed of either small-sized, deposit-feeding animals or mobile scavengers and predators. The findings highlight that knowledge of the interacting effects of trawl and natural disturbance will help to identify areas that are more or less resilient to trawling and support the development of management plans that account for the environmental effects of fishing.

Reduction of starch granule size by expression of an engineered tandem starch-binding domain in potato plants
Ji, Q. ; Oomen, R.J.F.J. ; Vincken, J.P. ; Bolam, D.N. ; Gilbert, H.J. ; Suurs, L.C.J.M. ; Visser, R.G.F. - \ 2004
Plant Biotechnology Journal 2 (2004)3. - ISSN 1467-7644 - p. 251 - 260.
specificity - sequence - cellulose - xylanase - modules - mutant - tissue - gene
Granule size is an important parameter when using starch in industrial applications. An artificial tandem repeat of a family 20 starch-binding domain (SBD2) was engineered by two copies of the SBD derived from Bacillus circulans cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase via the Pro-Thr-rich linker peptice from Xyn10A from Cellulomonas fimi. SBD2 and a single SBD were introduced into the amylose-free potato mutant, amf, using appropriate signal sequences. The accumulation of SBD2 into transgenic starch granules was much higher than that of SBD. In a number of transformants, particularly amfSS3, the starch granules were much smaller than in control plants. The amfSS3 mean granule size was 7.8 mum, compared with 15.2 mum in the control, whereas other starch properties were unaltered. This new starch combines the advantage of the high purity of potato starch with that of the small granule size of other crop species, such as cassava, taro and wheat. This starch may find application in the manufacture of biodegradable plastic films. Both genes were also expressed in Escherichia coli and the affinity for soluble starch of the purified recombinant proteins was determined. SBD2 had an approximately 10-fold higher affinity for starch than SBD, indicating that the two appended SBDs act in synergy when binding to their target polysaccharide ligand.
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