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.

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    Shrubs and Degraded Permafrost Pave the Way for Tree Establishment in Subarctic Peatlands
    Limpens, Juul ; Fijen, Thijs P.M. ; Keizer, Iris ; Meijer, Johan ; Olsthoorn, Fanny ; Pereira, Ana ; Postma, Roel ; Suyker, Mariette ; Vasander, Harri ; Holmgren, Milena - \ 2020
    Ecosystems (2020). - ISSN 1432-9840 - 14 p.
    alternative ecosystem states - boreal ecosystems - climate change - permafrost - plant facilitation - resilience - tree-line expansion - vegetation shifts - woody plant encroachment

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are changing rapidly in species composition and functioning as they warm twice as fast as the global average. It has been suggested that tree-less boreal landscapes may shift abruptly to tree-dominated states as climate warms. Yet, we insufficiently understand the conditions and mechanisms underlying tree establishment in the subarctic and arctic regions to anticipate how climate change may further affect ecosystem structure and functioning. We conducted a field experiment to assess the role of permafrost presence, micro-topography and shrub canopy on tree establishment in almost tree-less subarctic peatlands of northern Finland. We introduced seeds and seedlings of four tree-line species and monitored seedling survival and environmental conditions for six growing seasons. Our results show that once seedlings have emerged, the absence of permafrost can enhance early tree seedling survival, but shrub cover is the most important driver of subsequent tree seedling survival in subarctic peatlands. Tree seedling survival was twice as high under an intact shrub canopy than in open conditions after shrub canopy removal. Under unclipped control conditions, seedling survival was positively associated with dense shrub canopies for half of the tree species studied. These strong positive interactions between shrubs and trees may facilitate the transition from today’s treeless subarctic landscapes towards tree-dominated states. Our results suggest that climate warming may accelerate this vegetation shift as permafrost is lost, and shrubs further expand across the subarctic.

    Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences
    Wijedasa, Lahiru S. ; Jauhiainen, Jyrki ; Könönen, Mari ; Lampela, Maija ; Vasander, Harri ; Leblanc, Marie-Claire ; Evers, Stephanie ; Smith, Thomas E.L. ; Yule, Catherine M. ; Varkkey, Helena ; Lupascu, Massimo ; Parish, Faizal ; Singleton, Ian ; Clements, Gopalasamy R. ; Aziz, Sheema Abdul ; Harrison, Mark E. ; Cheyne, Susan ; Anshari, Gusti Z. ; Meijaard, Erik ; Goldstein, Jenny E. ; Waldron, Susan ; Hergoualc'h, Kristell ; Dommain, Rene ; Frolking, Steve ; Evans, Christopher D. ; Posa, Mary Rose C. ; Glaser, Paul H. ; Suryadiputra, Nyoman ; Lubis, Reza ; Santika, Truly ; Padfield, Rory ; Kurnianto, Sofyan ; Hadisiswoyo, Panut ; Lim, Teck Wyn ; Page, Susan E. ; Gauci, Vincent ; Meer, Peter J. Van Der; Buckland, Helen ; Garnier, Fabien ; Samuel, Marshall K. ; Choo, Liza Nuriati Lim Kim ; O'reilly, Patrick ; Warren, Matthew ; Suksuwan, Surin ; Sumarga, Elham ; Jain, Anuj ; Laurance, William F. ; Couwenberg, John ; Joosten, Hans ; Vernimmen, Ronald ; Hooijer, Aljosja ; Malins, Chris ; Cochrane, Mark A. ; Perumal, Balu ; Siegert, Florian ; Peh, Kelvin S.H. ; Comeau, Louis-Pierre ; Verchot, Louis ; Harvey, Charles F. ; Cobb, Alex ; Jaafar, Zeehan ; Wösten, Henk ; Manuri, Solichin ; Müller, Moritz ; Giesen, Wim ; Phelps, Jacob ; Yong, Ding Li ; Silvius, Marcel ; Wedeux, Béatrice M.M. ; Hoyt, Alison ; Osaki, Mitsuru ; Hirano, Takashi ; Takahashi, Hidenori ; Kohyama, Takashi S. ; Haraguchi, Akira ; Nugroho, Nunung P. ; Coomes, David A. ; Quoi, Le Phat ; Dohong, Alue ; Gunawan, Haris ; Gaveau, David L.A. ; Langner, Andreas ; Lim, Felix K.S. ; Edwards, David P. ; Giam, Xingli ; Werf, Guido Van Der; Carmenta, Rachel ; Verwer, Caspar C. ; Gibson, Luke ; Gandois, Laure ; Graham, Laura Linda Bozena ; Regalino, Jhanson ; Wich, Serge A. ; Rieley, Jack ; Kettridge, Nicholas ; Brown, Chloe ; Pirard, Romain ; Moore, Sam ; Capilla, B.R. ; Ballhorn, Uwe ; Ho, Hua Chew ; Hoscilo, Agata ; Lohberger, Sandra ; Evans, Theodore A. ; Yulianti, Nina ; Blackham, Grace ; Onrizal, O. ; Husson, Simon ; Murdiyarso, Daniel ; Pangala, Sunita ; Cole, Lydia E.S. ; Tacconi, Luca ; Segah, Hendrik ; Tonoto, Prayoto ; Lee, Janice S.H. ; Schmilewski, Gerald ; Wulffraat, Stephan ; Putra, Erianto Indra ; Cattau, Megan E. ; Clymo, R.S. ; Morrison, Ross ; Mujahid, Aazani ; Miettinen, Jukka ; Liew, Soo Chin ; Valpola, Samu ; Wilson, David ; Arcy, Laura D'; Gerding, Michiel ; Sundari, Siti ; Thornton, Sara A. ; Kalisz, Barbara ; Chapman, Stephen J. ; Su, Ahmad Suhaizi Mat ; Basuki, Imam ; Itoh, Masayuki ; Traeholt, Carl ; Sloan, Sean ; Sayok, Alexander K. ; Andersen, Roxane - \ 2017
    Global Change Biology 23 (2017)3. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 977 - 982.
    The first International Peat Congress (IPC) held in the tropics – in Kuching (Malaysia) – brought together over 1000 international peatland scientists and industrial partners from across the world (“International Peat Congress with over 1000 participants!,” 2016). The congress covered all aspects of peatland ecosystems and their management, with a strong focus on the environmental, societal and economic challenges associated with contemporary large-scale agricultural conversion of tropical peat.
    Data from: Positive shrub-tree interactions facilitate woody encroachment in boreal peatlands
    Holmgren, M. ; Lin, C.Y. ; Murillo, J.E. ; Nieuwenhuis, A. ; Penninkhof, J.M. ; Sanders, N. ; Bart, T. van; Veen, H. van; Vasander, H. ; Vollebregt, M.E. ; Limpens, J. - \ 2015
    Wageningen UR
    boreal forests - climate change - competition - critical transition - ecosystem shift - peatbog - positive interactions - resilience - tree seedling establishment
    Boreal ecosystems are warming roughly twice as fast as the global average, resulting in woody expansion that could further speed up the climate warming. Boreal peatbogs are waterlogged systems that store more than 30% of the global soil carbon. Facilitative effects of shrubs and trees on the establishment of new individuals could increase tree cover with profound consequences for the structure and functioning of boreal peatbogs, carbon sequestration and climate. We conducted two field experiments in boreal peatbogs to assess the mechanisms that explain tree seedling recruitment and to estimate the strength of positive feedbacks between shrubs and trees. We planted seeds and seedlings of Pinus sylvestris in microsites with contrasting water-tables and woody cover and manipulated both shrub canopy and root competition. We monitored seedling emergence, growth and survival for up to four growing seasons and assessed how seedling responses related to abiotic and biotic conditions. We found that tree recruitment is more successful in drier topographical microsites with deeper water-tables. On these hummocks, shrubs have both positive and negative effects on tree seedling establishment. Shrub cover improved tree seedling condition, growth and survival during the warmest growing season. In turn, higher tree basal area correlates positively with soil nutrient availability, shrub biomass and abundance of tree juveniles. Synthesis. Our results suggest that shrubs facilitate tree colonization of peatbogs which further increases shrub growth. These facilitative effects seem to be stronger under warmer conditions suggesting that a higher frequency of warmer and dry summers may lead to stronger positive interactions between shrubs and trees that could eventually facilitate a shift from moss to tree-dominated systems.
    Positive shrub-tree interactions facilitate woody encroachment in boreal peatlands
    Holmgren, M. ; Lin, C.Y. ; Murillo, J.E. ; Nieuwenhuis, A. ; Penninkhof, J.M. ; Sanders, N. ; Bart, T. van; Veen, H. van; Vasander, H. ; Vollebregt, M.E. ; Limpens, J. - \ 2015
    Journal of Ecology 103 (2015). - ISSN 0022-0477 - p. 58 - 66.
    scots pine - sphagnum - bogs - growth - mire - communities - recruitment - transitions - sylvestris - ecosystems
    1. Boreal ecosystems are warming roughly twice as fast as the global average, resulting in woody expansion that could further speed up the climate warming. Boreal peatbogs are waterlogged systems that store more than 30% of the global soil carbon. Facilitative effects of shrubs and trees on the establishment of new individuals could increase tree cover with profound consequences for the structure and functioning of boreal peatbogs, carbon sequestration and climate. 2. We conducted two field experiments in boreal peatbogs to assess the mechanisms that explain tree seedling recruitment and to estimate the strength of positive feedbacks between shrubs and trees. We planted seeds and seedlings of Pinus sylvestris in microsites with contrasting water-tables and woody cover and manipulated both shrub canopy and root competition. We monitored seedling emergence, growth and survival for up to four growing seasons and assessed how seedling responses related to abiotic and biotic conditions. 3. We found that tree recruitment is more successful in drier topographical microsites with deeper water-tables. On these hummocks, shrubs have both positive and negative effects on tree seedling establishment. Shrub cover improved tree seedling condition, growth and survival during the warmest growing season. In turn, higher tree basal area correlates positively with soil nutrient availability, shrub biomass and abundance of tree juveniles. 4. Synthesis. Our results suggest that shrubs facilitate tree colonization of peatbogs which further increases shrub growth. These facilitative effects seem to be stronger under warmer conditions suggesting that a higher frequency of warmer and dry summers may lead to stronger positive interactions between shrubs and trees that could eventually facilitate a shift from moss to tree-dominated systems.
    Restoration Ecology of Lowland tropical Peatlands in Southeast Asia: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions
    Page, S. ; Hoscilo, A. ; Wösten, J.H.M. ; Jauhiainen, J. ; Silvius, M.J. ; Rieley, J. ; Ritzema, H.P. ; Tansey, K. ; Graham, L. ; Vasander, H. ; Limin, S. - \ 2009
    Ecosystems 12 (2009)6. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 888 - 905.
    peat swamp forest - indonesia - interrelationships - kalimantan - fires
    Studies of restoration ecology are well established for northern peatlands, but at an early stage for tropical peatlands. Extensive peatland areas in Southeast Asia have been degraded through deforestation, drainage and fire, leading to on- and off-site environmental and socio-economic impacts of local to global significance. To address these problems, landscape-scale restoration measures are urgently required. This paper reviews and illustrates, using information from on-going trials in Kalimantan, Indonesia, the current state of knowledge pertaining to (i) land-cover dynamics of degraded peatlands, (ii) vegetation rehabilitation, (iii) restoration of hydrology, (iv) rehabilitation of carbon sequestration and storage, and (v) promotion of sustainable livelihoods for local communities. For a 4500 km2 study site in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, we show a 78% reduction in forest cover between 1973 and 2003 and demonstrate that fire, exacerbated by drainage, is the principal driver of land-use change. Progressive vegetation succession follows infrequent, low-intensity fires, but repeated and high-intensity fires result in retrogressive succession towards non-forest communities. Re-wetting the peat is an important key to vegetation restoration and protection of remaining peat carbon stocks. The effectiveness of hydrological restoration is discussed and likely impacts on greenhouse gas emissions evaluated. Initial results indicate that raised water levels have limited short-term impact on reducing CO2 emissions, but could be critical in reducing fire risk. We conclude that successful restoration of degraded peatlands must be grounded in scientific knowledge, relevant to socio-economic circumstances, and should not proceed without the consent and co-operation of local communities
    Some requirements for restoration of peatland in the former Mega Rice Project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia: blocking channels, increasing livelihoods and controlling fires
    Suwido, H.L. ; Rieley, J.O. ; Ritzema, H.P. ; Vasander, H. - \ 2008
    In: Proceedings 13th International Peat Congress, After Wise Use - The Future of Peatlands. - Tullamore, Ireland : - p. 222 - 225.
    Tropical peatlands: carbon stores, carbon gas emissions and contribution to climate change processes
    Rieley, J.O. ; Wüst, R.A.J. ; Jauhiainen, J. ; Page, S.E. ; Wösten, J.H.M. ; Hooijer, A. ; Siegert, E. ; Limin, S.H. ; Vasander, H. ; Stahlhut, M. - \ 2008
    In: Peatlands and climate change / Strack, M., Jyväskylä : International Peat Society - ISBN 9789529940110 - p. 148 - 181.
    Restoration of peatlands and greenhouse gas balances
    Höper, H. ; Augustin, J. ; Cagampan, J.P. ; Drösler, M. ; Lundin, L. ; Moors, E.J. ; Vasander, H. ; Waddington, J.M. ; Wilson, D. - \ 2008
    In: Peatlands and Climate Change / Strack, M., Jyvaskyla : International Peat Society - ISBN 9789529940110 - p. 182 - 210.
    broeikasgassen - emissie - veengebieden - herstelbeheer - greenhouse gases - emission - peatlands - restoration management
    In this chapter the impact of peatland restoration on greenhouse gas fluxes is discussed based on a literature review. Casestudies are presented covering different peatland types, different regions and different starting conditions.
    Potassium limits potential growth of bog vegetation under elevated atmospheric CO2 and N deposition
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Vasander, H. ; Buttlers, A. ; Berendse, F. - \ 2002
    Global Change Biology 8 (2002). - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1130 - 1138.
    The free air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) and N deposition experiments on four ombrotrophic bogs in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland, revealed that after three years of treatment: (1) elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration had no significant effect on the biomass growth of Sphagnum and vascular species; and (2) increased N deposition reduced Sphagnum growth, because it increased the cover of vascular plants and the tall moss Polytrichum strictum, while vascular plant biomass growth was not affected. This paper focuses on water chemistry, plant nutrient content, and litter decomposition rates. Potassium limitation, or low supply of K and P, may have prevented a significant increase of Sphagnum growth under elevated CO2 and N deposition. Vascular plant growth under elevated CO2 and N deposition was also limited by K, or by K in combination with P or N (N in CO2 experiment). Elevated CO2 and N deposition had no effect on decomposition rates of Sphagnum and vascular plant litter. Aside from a possible effect of N deposition on light competition between species, we expect that elevated atmospheric CO2 and N deposition concentrations will not affect Sphagnum and vascular plant growth in bogs of north-west Europe due to K-, or K in combination with N- or P-, limited growth. For the same reason we expect no effect of elevated CO2 and N deposition on litter decomposition. Net primary production of raised ombrotrophic bogs that are at or close to steady state, is regulated by input of nutrients through atmospheric deposition. Therefore, we hypothesize that the expected increase of plant growth under elevated CO2 and N deposition is diminished by current levels of K (and to some extent P and N) in atmospheric deposition.
    Financial mechanisms for poverty-environment issues; the case of Central Kalimantan (Kalteng)
    Clements-Hunt, P. ; Diemont, W.H. ; Limin, S. ; Page, S. ; Rieley, J. ; Setiadi, B. ; Sjarkowi, F. ; Silvius, M. ; Radjagukgug, B. ; Vasander, H. ; Verhagen, J. - \ 2002
    Wageningen : Alterra (Alterra-rapport 589) - 17
    armoede - landschap - armoedebestrijding - biodiversiteit - economie - milieu - natuurbehoud - ontwikkelingssamenwerking - Indonesië - Kalimantan - poverty - landscape
    Can testate amoebae (protozoa) and other micro-organisms help to overcome biogeographic bias in large scale global change research?
    Mitchell, E.A.D. ; Gilbert, D. ; Butler, A. ; Grosvernier, P. ; Albinsson, C. ; Rydin, H. ; Heijmans, M.M.P.D. ; Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Greenup, A. ; Foot, J. ; Saarinen, T. ; Vasander, H. - \ 2001
    In: Global Change and Protected Areas / Visconti, G., - p. 301 - 310.
    klimaatverandering - kooldioxide - vegetatie - micro-organismen - climatic change - carbon dioxide - vegetation - microorganisms
    Raised atmospheric CO2 levels and increased N deposition cause shifts in plant species composition and production in Sphagnum bogs
    Berendse, F. ; Breemen, N. van; Rydin, H. ; Buttler, A. ; Heijmans, M. ; Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Lee, J.A. ; Mitchell, E. ; Saarinen, T. ; Vasander, H. ; Wallen, B. - \ 2001
    Global Change Biology 7 (2001). - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 591 - 598.
    broeikaseffect - emissie - kooldioxide - nitraten - veenplanten - greenhouse effect - emission - carbon dioxide - nitrates - bog plants
    Part of the missing sink in the global CO2 budget has been attributed to the positive effects of CO2 fertilization and N deposition on carbon sequestration in Northern Hemisphere terrestrial ecosystems. The genus Sphagnum is one of the most important groups of plant species sequestrating carbon in temperate and northern bog ecosystems, because of the low decomposability of the dead material it produces. The effects of raised CO2 and increased atmospheric N deposition on growth of Sphagnum and other plants were studied in bogs at four sites across Western Europe. Contrary to expectations, elevated CO2 did not significantly affect Sphagnum biomass growth. Increased N deposition reduced Sphagnum mass growth, because it increased the cover of vascular plants and the tall moss Polytrichum strictum. Such changes in plant species composition may decrease carbon sequestration in Sphagnum-dominated bog ecosystems
    Limited effect of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration on ombrotrophic bog vegetation
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Berendse, F. ; Grosvernier, P. ; Vasander, H. ; Wallen, B. - \ 2001
    New Phytologist 150 (2001). - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 459 - 463.
    kooldioxide - sphagnum - finland - zweden - zwitserland - nederland - biomassa - veenmoerassen - carbon dioxide - sphagnum - biomass - bogs - finland - sweden - switzerland - netherlands
    Boreal and subarctic peatlands contain 20-30 f the world's soil organic carbon, and if growing, they constitute sinks for atmospheric CO2. We hypothesized that even in the nutrient-poor bog environment, elevated CO2 would stimulate Sphagnum growth more than vascular plant growth, thereby improving Sphagnum's competitive strength and enhancing carbon (C) sequestration. Free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) experiments took place on predominantly ombrotrophic peatbog-lawns in Finland (FI), Sweden (SW), The Netherlands (NL), and Switzerland (CH). After 3 yr of treatment, increased CO2 concentration (560 ppm on volume basis) had no significant effect on Sphagnum or vascular plant biomass at either site. This research suggests that, just as with other nutrient-poor ecosystems, increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations will have a limited effect on bog ecosystems.
    Hypotheses, methods and major results of the bog ecosystem research initiative
    Breemen, N. van; Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Wallen, B. ; Rydin, H. ; Lee, J.A. ; Silvola, J. ; Vasander, H. ; Berendse, F. ; Grosvernier, P. - \ 2000
    In: Sustaining Our Peatlands : 11th International Peat Congress, Canada 2000 / Rochefort, L., Daigle, J.Y., Canada : Gerry Hood - ISBN 9789519774442 - p. 1089 - 1089.
    Testate amoebae (protozoa) and other micro-organisms in sphagnum peatlands : biogeography, ecology and effect of elevated CO2
    Mitchell, E.A.D. ; Gilbert, D. ; Buttler, A. ; Grosvernier, P. ; Albinsson, C. ; Rydin, H. ; Heijmans, M.M.P.D. ; Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Greenup, A. ; Foot, J.P. ; Saarinen, T. ; Vasander, H. ; Gobat, J.M. - \ 2000
    In: Sustaining Our Peatlands : 11th International Peat Congress, Canada 2000 / Rochefort, L., Daigle, J.Y., Canada : Gerry Hood - ISBN 9789519774442 - p. 1087 - 1087.
    Effects of elevated CO2 and N deposition on bog vegetation dynamics
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Vasander, H. ; Saarinen, T. ; Silvola, J. ; Saarnio, S. ; Grosvernier, P. ; Mitchell, E. ; Berendse, F. ; Heijmans, M. ; Wallen, B. ; Rydin, H. ; Lee, J.A. ; Foot, J. - \ 2000
    In: Core Research for Evolution Science and Technology : Face 2000, Japan 2000 - p. 19 - 19.
    Preliminary results of the BERI project: effects of elevated CO2 and N deposition on plant dynamics and CH4 emissions of five European bogs
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Wallen, B. ; Rydin, H. ; Lee, J.A. ; Silvola, J. ; Vasander, H. ; Berendse, F. ; Grosvernier, P. - \ 2000
    In: Terrestrial ecosystem research in Europe: successes, challenges and policy : Final conference of the terrestrial ecosystem research initiative - concerted action (Terica) Project ENV4-CT95-0051, Egmond aan Zee 1999 / Sutton, M.A., Moreno, J.M., - p. 143 - 145.
    Effects of elevated CO2 and N deposition on the biogeochemistry of five European bogs
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Wallén, B. ; Rydin, H. ; Lee, J.A. ; Silvola, J. ; Vasander, H. ; Berendse, F. ; Grosvernier, P. - \ 2000
    In: Book of abstracts : Vijfde Nederlands Aardwetenschappelijk Congres, Veldhoven, 20 en 21 april 2000 - p. 1.6 - 1.6.
    High N deposition affects competition between sphagnum and other bog plant species
    Heijmans, M.M.P.D. ; Berendse, F. ; Breemen, N. van; Rydin, H. ; Buttler, A. ; Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Lee, J.A. ; Mitchell, E.A.D. ; Saarnio, S. ; Vasander, H. ; Wallen, B. - \ 2000
    In: Sustaining Our Peatlands : 11th International Peat Congress, Canada 2000 / Rochefort, L., Daigle, J.Y., Canada : Gerry Hood - ISBN 9789519774442 - p. 1085 - 1085.
    The effects of elevated CO2 and N deposition in CH4 emission and biodiversity of bog ecosystems.
    Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Breemen, N. van; Wallen, B. ; Rydin, H. ; Lee, J.A. ; Silvola, J. ; Vasander, H. ; Berendse, F. ; Heijden, E. van der; Grosvernier, P. - \ 1998
    In: The Earth's Changing Land: GCTE-LUCC Open Science Conference on Global Change, Barcelona, Spain - p. 222 - 223.
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