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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    Modelling food security : Bridging the gap between the micro and the macro scale
    Müller, Birgit ; Hoffmann, Falk ; Heckelei, Thomas ; Müller, Christoph ; Hertel, Thomas W. ; Polhill, J.G. ; Wijk, Mark van; Achterbosch, Thom ; Alexander, Peter ; Brown, Calum ; Kreuer, David ; Ewert, Frank ; Ge, Jiaqi ; Millington, James D.A. ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Verburg, Peter H. ; Webber, Heidi - \ 2020
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 63 (2020). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Agent-based models - Crop models - Economic equilibrium models - Food security - Land use - Model integration - Multi-scale interactions - Social-ecological feedbacks

    Achieving food and nutrition security for all in a changing and globalized world remains a critical challenge of utmost importance. The development of solutions benefits from insights derived from modelling and simulating the complex interactions of the agri-food system, which range from global to household scales and transcend disciplinary boundaries. A wide range of models based on various methodologies (from food trade equilibrium to agent-based) seek to integrate direct and indirect drivers of change in land use, environment and socio-economic conditions at different scales. However, modelling such interaction poses fundamental challenges, especially for representing non-linear dynamics and adaptive behaviours. We identify key pieces of the fragmented landscape of food security modelling, and organize achievements and gaps into different contextual domains of food security (production, trade, and consumption) at different spatial scales. Building on in-depth reflection on three core issues of food security – volatility, technology, and transformation – we identify methodological challenges and promising strategies for advancement. We emphasize particular requirements related to the multifaceted and multiscale nature of food security. They include the explicit representation of transient dynamics to allow for path dependency and irreversible consequences, and of household heterogeneity to incorporate inequality issues. To illustrate ways forward we provide good practice examples using meta-modelling techniques, non-equilibrium approaches and behavioural-based modelling endeavours. We argue that further integration of different model types is required to better account for both multi-level agency and cross-scale feedbacks within the food system.

    How does nature contribute to human mobility? A conceptual framework and qualitative analysis
    Wiederkehr, Charlotte ; Schröter, Matthias ; Adams, Helen ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Hermans, Kathleen - \ 2019
    Ecology and Society 24 (2019)4. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Bangladesh - Ethiopia - Immobility - Mobility - Nature’s contributions to people - Place attachment

    Different types of mobility are known as longstanding strategies used by humans to deal with environmental pressure. Immobility is relevant in this context as population groups may be at considerable risk but lacking the capacity or willingness to move. Despite significant advances in this research field, grasping especially the subjective dimension of people’s migration decision remains challenging. Moreover, the conceptualization of cultural factors in this context has received rather marginal attention thus far. In light of this, we propose a framework that integrates the novel concept of nature’s contributions to people (NCP) with migration theory, in particular the triad of migration need, ability, and aspiration. NCP goes beyond the popular notion of ecosystem services by conceiving nature-society relations in a more inclusive way with culture being a key element of these. Combined with migration need, ability, and aspiration, we argue that this approach offers a valuable nuanced perspective on nature-mobility interactions, including cultural aspects of natural resource use and varying degrees of agency related to mobility decision making. We apply the framework to two archetypal climate-related migration situations, southwestern coastal Bangladesh and the northern Ethiopian highlands, to delineate the diverse mechanisms through which environmental change shapes population movement in highly resource-dependent livelihoods. We show that based on the analyzed case studies most links can be drawn between material and regulating NCP and migration need, and that nonenvironmental factors play a crucial role in mediating nature’s contributions to human mobility. More knowledge is needed though in particular on the influence of nonmaterial NCP on mobility decision making and on migration aspirations in general to better account for important cultural factors. We formulate a number of hypotheses and questions relevant for guiding future research that can inform policy interventions.

    Indicators of Ecosystem Services for Policy Makers in the Netherlands
    Knegt, B. de - \ 2019
    In: Atlas of Ecosystem Services / Schröter, Matthias, Bonn, Aletta, Klotz, Stefan, Seppelt, Ralf, Baessler, Cornelia, Springer - ISBN 9783319962283 - p. 285 - 290.
    Nature supplies many useful goods and services to our society
    Opportunity Maps for Sustainable Use of Natural Capital
    Knegt, B. de; Hoek, Dirk Jan van der; Veerkamp, Clara - \ 2019
    In: Atlas of Ecosystem Services / Schröter, Matthias, Bonn, Aletta, Klotz, Stefan, Seppelt, Ralf, Baessler, Cornelia, Springer - ISBN 9783319962283 - p. 365 - 372.
    The Dutch government has the ambition to make its policies more “nature-inclusive”. Nature-inclusive policy recognises the wide range of services provided by ecosystems and biodiversity, aiming for sustainable use of these services. Hence, an important objective of the Dutch government is to more explicitly address these benefits and the effects of interventions on natural capital in decision-making processes. Our study contributes to this objective by identifying areas with opportunities for sustainable use of natural capital. It helps policymakers and other stakeholders to focus their policies and to set priorities.We developed a method for making opportunity maps that identify potential areas to use natural capital in a sustainable way. This method was applied to three cases: sustainable food production, flood safety improvement, and sustainable drinking water production
    Multiscale scenarios for nature futures
    Rosa, Isabel M.D. ; Pereira, Henrique Miguel ; Ferrier, Simon ; Alkemade, J.R.M. ; Acosta, Lilibeth A. ; Resit Akcakaya, H. ; Belder, E. den; Fazel, Asghar M. ; Fujimori, Shinichiro ; Harfoot, Mike ; Harhash, Khaled A. ; Harrison, Paula A. ; Hauck, Jennifer ; Hendriks, Rob J.J. ; Hernández, Gladys ; Jetz, Walter ; Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S.I.S.E. ; Kim, Hyejin ; King, Nicholas ; Kok, Marcel ; Kolomytsev, Grygoriy O. ; Lazarova, Tanya ; Leadley, Paul ; Lundquist, Carolyn J. ; García Márquez, Jaime ; Meyer, Carsten ; Navarro, Laetitia M. ; Nesshöver, Carsten ; Ngo, Hien T. ; Ninan, Karachepone N. ; Palomo, Maria G. ; Pereira, Laura ; Peterson, G.D. ; Pichs, Ramon ; Popp, Alexander ; Purvis, Andy ; Ravera, Federica ; Rondinini, Carlo ; Sathyapalan, Jyothis ; Schipper, Aafke ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Settele, Josef ; Sitas, Nadia ; Vuuren, D. van - \ 2017
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 1 (2017)10. - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 1416 - 1419.
    Targets for human development are increasingly connected with targets for nature, however, existing scenarios do not explicitly address this relationship. Here, we outline a strategy to generate scenarios centred on our relationship
    with nature to inform decision-making at multiple scales.
    Towards systematic analyses of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies : Main concepts, methods and the road ahead
    Cord, Anna F. ; Bartkowski, Bartosz ; Beckmann, Michael ; Dittrich, Andreas ; Hermans, Kathleen ; Kaim, Andrea ; Lienhoop, Nele ; Locher-Krause, Karla ; Priess, Jörg ; Schröter-Schlaack, Christoph ; Schwarz, Nina ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Strauch, Michael ; Václavík, Tomáš ; Volk, Martin - \ 2017
    Ecosystem Services 28 (2017)part C. - ISSN 2212-0416 - p. 264 - 272.
    Ecosystem service bundles - Ecosystem service demand - Ecosystem service supply - Optimization - Spatio-temporal scales - Stakeholders

    Ecosystem services (ES), the benefits that humans obtain from nature, are of great importance for human well-being. The challenge of meeting the growing human demands for natural resources while sustaining essential ecosystem functions and resilience requires an in-depth understanding of the complex relationships between ES. These conflicting ('trade-offs') or synergistic ('synergies') relationships mean that changes in one ES can cause changes in other ES. By synthesizing the growing body of literature on ES relationships, we identified the following four main study objectives: (i) the identification and characterization of co-occurrences of ES, (ii) the identification of drivers that shape ES relationships, (iii) the exploration of biophysical constraints of landscapes and limitations to their multifunctionality, and (iv) the support of environmental planning, management and policy decisions. For each of these objectives we here describe the key concepts, including viewpoints of different disciplines, and highlight the major challenges that need to be addressed. We identified three cross-cutting themes being relevant to all four main types of studies. To help guiding researchers towards more systematic analyses of ES trade-offs and synergies, we conclude with an outlook on suggested future research priorities.

    Large scale land acquisitions and REDD+: a synthesis of conflicts and opportunities
    Carter, Sarah ; Manceur, Ameur M. ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Hermans, Kathleen ; Herold, Martin ; Verchot, Louis V. - \ 2017
    Environmental Research Letters 12 (2017)3. - ISSN 1748-9326 - 12 p.
    Large scale land acquisitions (LSLA), and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) are both land based phenomena which when occurring in the same area, can compete with each other for land. A quantitative analysis of country characteristics revealed that land available for agriculture, accessibility, and political stability are key explanatory factors for a country being targeted for LSLA. Surprisingly LSLA occur in countries with lower accessibility. Countries with good land availability, poor accessibility and political stability may become future targets if they do not already have LSLA. Countries which high levels of agriculture-driven deforestation and LSLA, should develop interventions which reduce forest loss driven either directly or indirectly by LSLA as part of their REDD+ strategies. Both host country and investor-side policies have been identified which could be used more widely to reduce conflicts between LSLA and REDD+. Findings from this research highlight the need for and can inform the development of national and international policies on land acquisitions including green acquisitions such as REDD+. Land management must be considered with all its objectives—including food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation—in a coherent strategy which engages relevant stakeholders. This is not currently occurring and might be a key ingredient to achieve the targets under the Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 15 and 16 (related to food security and sustainable agriculture and the protection of forests) among others.
    Why do forest products become less available? A pan-tropical comparison of drivers of forest-resource degradation
    Hermans, Kathleen ; Gerstner, Katharina ; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R. ; Herold, Martin ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Wunder, Sven - \ 2016
    Environmental Research Letters 11 (2016). - ISSN 1748-9326 - 14 p.
    Forest products provide an important source of income and wellbeing for rural smallholder communities across the tropics. Although tropical forest products frequently become over-exploited, only few studies explicitly address the dynamics of degradation in response to socio-economic drivers. Our study addresses this gap by analyzing the factors driving changes in tropical forest products in the perception of rural smallholder communities. Using the poverty and environment network global dataset, we studied recently perceived trends of forest product availability considering firewood, charcoal, timber, food, medicine, forage and other forest products. We looked at a pan-tropical sample of 233 villages with forest access. Our results show that 90% of the villages experienced declining availability of forest resources over the last five years according to the informants. Timber and fuelwood together with forest foods were featured as the most strongly affected, though with marked differences across continents. In contrast, availability of at least one main forest product was perceived to increase in only 39% of the villages. Furthermore, the growing local use of forest resources is seen as the main culprit for the decline. In villages with both growing forest resource use and immigration—vividly illustrating demographic pressures—the strongest forest resources degradation was observed. Conversely, villages with little or no population growth and a decreased use of forest resources were most likely to see significant forest-resource increases. Further, villages are less likely to perceive resource declines when local communities own a significant share of forest area. Our results thus suggest that perceived resource declines have only exceptionally triggered adaptations in local resource-use and management patterns that would effectively deal with scarcity. Hence, at the margin this supports neo-Malthusian over neo-Boserupian explanations of local resource-use dynamics.
    Assessing ecosystem services for informing land-use decisions : A problem-oriented approach
    Förster, Johannes ; Barkmann, Jan ; Fricke, Roman ; Hotes, Stefan ; Kleyer, Michael ; Kobbe, Susanne ; Kübler, Daniel ; Rumbaur, Christian ; Siegmund-Schultze, Marianna ; Seppelt, Ralf ; Settele, Josef ; Spangenberg, Joachim H. ; Tekken, Vera ; Václavík, Tomáš ; Wittmer, Heidi - \ 2015
    Ecology and Society 20 (2015)3. - ISSN 1708-3087
    Decision support - Ecosystem services assessment - Land use - Problem-oriented

    Assessments of ecosystem services (ES), that aim at informing decisions on land management, are increasing in number around the globe. Despite selected success stories, evidence for ES information being used in decision making is weak, partly because ES assessments are found to fall short in targeting information needs by decision makers. To improve their applicability in practice, we compared existing concepts of ES assessments with focus on informing land use decisions and identified opportunities for enhancing the relevance of ES assessments for decision making. In a process of codesign, building on experience of four projects in Brazil, China, Madagascar, and Vietnam, we developed a step-wise approach for better targeting ES assessments toward information needs in land use decisions. Our problem-oriented approach aims at (1) structuring ES information according to land use problems identified by stakeholders, (2) targeting context-specific ES information needs by decision makers, and (3) assessing relevant management options. We demonstrate how our approach contributes to making ES assessments more policy relevant and enhances the application of ES assessments as a tool for decision support.

    Sustainable and resource efficient intensivation of crop production - Perspectives of agro-ecosystem research Policy paper of the DFG Senate Commission on Agroecosystem Research
    Wolters, V. ; Isselstein, J. ; Stützel, H. ; Ordon, F. ; Haaren, C. von; Schlecht, E. ; Wesseler, J.H.H. ; Birner, R. ; Lützow, M. von; Brüggemann, N. ; Diekkrüger, B. ; Fangmeier, A. ; Flessa, H. ; Kage, H. ; Kaupenhohann, M. ; Kögel-Knabner, I. ; Mosandl, R. ; Seppelt, R. - \ 2014
    Journal of Cultivated Plants 66 (2014)7. - ISSN 1867-0911 - p. 225 - 236.
    With its policy paper the Senate Commission on Agro-ecosystemResearch of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG) summarizes potential benefits of basic researchfor the sustainable intensification of crop production. Agro-ecosystems critically contribute to fulfilling the need forincreasing food and fiber production, diminishing resourcedepletion as well as counteracting biodiversity loss and climate change. Yield demands that are needed to ensure the food supply predicted for the year 2050 can only be achieved by scientific progress that allows the intensive yet environmentally friendly production of plant biomass (Figure ), (FAO, 2011; Dobermann und Nelson,2013; Rayet al., 2013). Sustainable intensification requires a scientific realignment that allows for broadening the scope of agricultural research. The productivity of farming systems should be evaluated with regard to their efficiency (input-output relation). In addition, the spatial and temporal variability of these systems must be considered by addressing local conditions, the landscape context and climate change. With respect to ecosystem services, new production strategies must be developed that take all aspects of landscape and regional complexity as well as socio-economic conditions and agricultural policy into account. Against this background, the Senate Commission onAgro-ecosystem Research proposes three priority areas of interdisciplinary research on resource efficient intensification of crop production: (1) Exploiting the biological potential of the individualcrop plants for an environmentally friendly intensificationin an ecosystem approach (2) Exploring sustainable intensification of crop production within a landscape context (3) Taking full account of the economic, social and politicaldimensions of sustainable intensification of crop production
    Determinator - A Generic DSS For Hazard Identification Of Spieces Or Other Physical Subjects
    Uiterwijk, M. ; Raamsdonk, L.W.D. van; Janssen, J.C. - \ 2012
    In: Current trends in software delvelopments forenvironmental pollution modelling, 1-5 July 2012, Leipzig, Germany. - Leipzig : iEMSs - ISBN 9788890357428 - p. 581 - 587.
    Bridging the gap between modellers and model users, why does this gap exist and what can we do about it?
    Roosenschoon, O.R. ; Reis, S. ; Turnpenny, J. ; Adele, C. ; Jacob, K. ; Wascher, D. ; Weiland, S. ; Helming, K. ; Podhora, A. ; Wien, J.J.F. - \ 2012
    In: Proceedings of the sixth biannial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. - Leipzig : - ISBN 9788890357428 - p. 1936 - 1943.
    A generic data schema for crop experiment data in food security research
    Janssen, S.J.C. ; Kraalingen, D.W.G. van; Boogaard, H.L. ; Wit, A.J.W. de; Franke, G.J. ; Porter, C. ; Athanasiadis, L.N. - \ 2012
    In: Proceedings of the sixth biannial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. - Leipzig : - ISBN 9788890357428 - p. 2447 - 2454.
    In agricultural research targeted at food security, crop experiments in fields are a crucial source of information for statistical or model based analyses or purely a system description. In these crop experiments or field trials, crop responses are investigated to a change a management or in different climatic or soil conditions, and thus provide an understanding of production potential in different circumstances. Though crucial, these crop experiments are currently poorly available to the crop research community, which proves an obstacle to developments in the domain. The aim of this paper is to propose a generic data schema, Spatial Temporal Attribute Catalogue, that can be used to store data on agricultural systems compiled with many different purposes and scopes. The generic data schema covers aspects of soil, climate, location, crop management and crop variety characteristics. The data schema is developed in a context of different ongoing and past efforts in structuring this crop experiment data, e.g. the AgMIP crop experiment database, the Global Yield Gap Atlas, and the MOCASSIN project on winterkill. Future developments on the data schema include assessing the possibilities to broaden it to different domains (i.e. socio-economic, ecology, and animal sciences) and the use of semantic technologies for storage and availability.
    Solutions for sustaining natural capital and ecosystem services : Editorial
    Burkhard, B. ; Groot, R.S. de; Costanza, R. ; Seppelt, R. ; Jorgensen, S.E. ; Potschin, M. - \ 2012
    Ecological Indicators 21 (2012). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 1 - 6.
    Form follows function? Proposing a blueprint for ecosystem service assessments based on reviews and case studies
    Seppelt, R. ; Fath, B. ; Burkhard, B. ; Fisher, J.L. ; Grêt-Regamey, A. ; Lautenbach, S. ; Pert, P. ; Hotes, S. ; Spangenberg, J. ; Verburg, P.H. ; Oudenhoven, A.P.E. van - \ 2012
    Ecological Indicators 21 (2012). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 145 - 154.
    watershed management - land-use - conservation - models - biodiversity - valuation - projects - science - goods
    Ecosystem service assessments (ESA) hold the promise of supporting the quantification and valuation of human appropriation of nature and its goods and services. The concept has taken flight with the number of studies published on the topic increasing rapidly. This development, and the variation of diverging approaches, support innovative ideas and may lead to complementary insights from various perspectives. However, at the same time this slows scientific synthesis through increasing uncertainty with respect to the appropriate methodologies to be used to support solving environmental management problems. We analyzed ESA and the underlying concepts based on the variety of available publications and reviews, which revealed a number of different methods, uncertain reliability and robustness. In order to facilitate comparison, evaluation and synthesis of ecosystem service assessments we propose a blueprint for reporting studies in a structured way. By exemplifying this with worked examples, we argue that the use of such a blueprint will (i) assist in achieving improved communication and collaboration in transdisciplinary teams; (ii) reveal methodological aspects, important for the interpretation of results; (iii) support robustness and reliability of assessments; (iv) aid in structuring assessment studies and monitoring programs; (v) provide a base for comparing and synthesizing results of different studies (e.g. in meta-analysis), and thus (vi) provide a base for further implementation of ESA
    Perceived benefits of healthy eating among a nationally-representative sample of adults in the European Union.
    Zunft, H.J. ; Friebe, D. ; Seppelt, B. ; Graaf, C. de; Margetts, B. ; Schmitt, A. ; Gibney, M.J. - \ 1997
    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 51 (1997). - ISSN 0954-3007 - p. S241 - S246.
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