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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Over a century of data reveal more than 80% decline in butterflies in the Netherlands
Strien, Arco J. van; Swaay, Chris A.M. van; Strien-van Liempt, Willy T.F.H. van; Poot, Martin J.M. ; WallisDeVries, Michiel F. - \ 2019
Biological Conservation 234 (2019). - ISSN 0006-3207 - p. 116 - 122.
Bayesian inference - Distribution - JAGS - List length analysis - Living Planet Index - Monitoring

Opportunistic butterfly records from 1890 to 2017 were analysed to quantitatively estimate the overall long-term change in occurrence of butterfly species in the Netherlands. For 71 species, we assessed trends in the number of occupied 5 km × 5 km sites by applying a modified List Length method, which takes into account changes in observation effort. We summarised the species trends in a Multi-Species Indicator (MSI) by taking the geometric mean of the species indices. Between 1890–1930 and 1981–1990, the MSI decreased by 67%; downward trends were detected for 42 species, many of which have disappeared completely from the Netherlands. Monitoring count data available from 1992 showed a further 50% decline in MSI. Combined, this yields an estimated decline of 84% in 1890–2017. We argue that in reality the loss is likely even higher. We also assessed separate MSIs for three major butterfly habitat types in the Netherlands: grassland, woodland and heathland. Butterflies strongly declined in all three habitats alike. The trend has stabilised over recent decades in grassland and woodland, but the decline continues in heathland.

Risks and opportunities of trophic rewilding for arthropod communities
Klink, Roel van; WallisDeVries, Michiel F. - \ 2018
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological sciences 373 (2018)1761. - ISSN 0962-8436 - 8 p.
grazing - insects - invertebrates - near-natural grazing - Oostvaardersplassen - restoration

Trophic rewilding is a restoration strategy focusing on the restoration of trophic interactions to promote self-regulating, biodiverse ecosystems. It has been proposed as an alternative to traditional conservation management in abandoned or defaunated areas. Arthropods constitute the most species-rich group of eukaryotic organisms, but are rarely considered in rewilding. Here, we first present an overview of direct and indirect pathways by which large herbivores and predators affect arthropod communities. We then review the published evidence of the impacts of rewilding with large herbivores on arthropods, including grey literature. We find that systematic monitoring is rare and that a comparison with a relevant control treatment is usually lacking. Nevertheless, the available data suggest that when the important process of top-down control of large-herbivore populations is missing, arthropod diversity tends to decrease. To ensure that rewilding is supportive of biodiversity conservation, we propose that if natural processes can only partially be restored, substitutes for missing processes are applied. We also propose that boundaries of acceptable outcomes of rewilding actions should be defined a priori, particularly concerning biodiversity conservation, and that action is taken when these boundaries are transgressed. To evaluate the success of rewilding for biodiversity, monitoring of arthropod communities should be a key instrument.This article is part of the theme issue 'Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change'.

Declines in moth populations stress the need for conserving dark nights
Langevelde, Frank van; Braamburg-Annegarn, Marijke ; Huigens, Martinus E. ; Groendijk, Rob ; Poitevin, Olivier ; Deijk, Jurriën R. van; Ellis, Willem N. ; Grunsven, Roy H.A. van; Vos, Rob de; Vos, Rutger A. ; Franzén, Markus ; WallisDeVries, Michiel F. - \ 2018
Global Change Biology 24 (2018)3. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 925 - 932.
artificial light at night - ecological traits - ecology of the night - Lepidoptera - light pollution - phototaxis
Given the global continuous rise, artificial light at night is often considered a driving force behind moth population declines. Although negative effects on individuals have been shown, there is no evidence for effects on population sizes to date. Therefore, we compared population trends of Dutch macromoth fauna over the period 1985–2015 between moth species that differ in phototaxis and adult circadian rhythm. We found that moth species that show positive phototaxis or are nocturnally active have stronger negative population trends than species that are not attracted to light or are diurnal species. Our results indicate that artificial light at night is an important factor in explaining declines in moth populations in regions with high artificial night sky brightness. Our study supports efforts to reduce the impacts of artificial light at night by promoting lamps that do not attract insects and reduce overall levels of illumination in rural areas to reverse declines of moth populations.
The influence of wild boar (Sus scrofa) on microhabitat quality for the endangered butterfly Pyrgus malvae in the Netherlands
Schaetzen, Frédéric de; Langevelde, Frank van; WallisDeVries, Michiel F. - \ 2018
Journal of Insect Conservation 22 (2018)1. - ISSN 1366-638X - p. 51 - 59.
Butterflies - Conservation ecology - Ecosystem engineering - Habitat quality - Heathland - Herbivore impact
The decline of open habitats in Europe, such as semi-natural grasslands and heathlands, has caused a general decline in biodiversity, which has been well documented for butterflies. Current conservation practices often involve grazing by domestic livestock to maintain suitable butterfly habitats. The extent to which wild ungulates may play a similar role remains largely unknown. Through their rooting activity, wild boar could be effective to reduce grass encroachment and restore pioneer microhabitats that are vital to many grassland insects in temperate climates. Here, we assessed the microhabitat requirements of Pyrgus malvae, an endangered butterfly of heathland and grassland habitats in the Netherlands, with special attention for the influence of wild boar rooting. To date, oviposition site selection of this species has concentrated on calcareous grasslands, whereas we also include heathlands. Overall, larval occupancy was higher in warm, open and sparsely vegetated microhabitats, which supports earlier findings. In heathland, microhabitat occupancy was positively affected by bryophyte and litter cover. In heath-grassland mosaic, microhabitat occupancy was also influenced by bryophyte and litter cover, but in addition low grass cover increased occupancy by favouring host plants. In grassland, only low grass cover and host plant cover determined microhabitat quality. Across all habitats, occupied microhabitats were characterized by lower vegetation as well as higher average daytime temperatures than unoccupied microhabitats. We discovered that wild boar play an important role in reducing grass cover by shallow rooting in grass patches, thereby increasing host plant availability. Hence, wild boar may have an added value in maintaining and restoring P. malvae microhabitats in grassland habitats in addition to grazing by domestic livestock.
Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions
Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús ; Kissling, W.D. ; Carvalheiro, Luísa G. ; WallisDevries, Michiel F. ; Franzén, Markus ; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C. - \ 2016
Scientific Reports 6 (2016). - ISSN 2045-2322

Changes in climate and land use can have important impacts on biodiversity. Species respond to such environmental modifications by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their geographic distributions towards more suitable areas. The latter might be constrained by species' functional traits that influence their ability to move, reproduce or establish. Here, we show that functional traits related to dispersal, reproduction, habitat use and diet have influenced how three pollinator groups (bees, butterflies and hoverflies) responded to changes in climate and land-use in the Netherlands since 1950. Across the three pollinator groups, we found pronounced areal range expansions (>53%) and modelled range shifts towards the north (all taxa: 17-22 km), west (bees: 14 km) and east (butterflies: 11 km). The importance of specific functional traits for explaining distributional changes varied among pollinator groups. Larval diet preferences (i.e. carnivorous vs. herbivorous/detritivorous and nitrogen values of host plants, respectively) were important for hoverflies and butterflies, adult body size for hoverflies, and flight period length for all groups. Moreover, interactions among multiple traits were important to explain species' geographic range shifts, suggesting that taxon-specific multi-trait analyses are needed to predict how global change will affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.!

Ecologisch profiel van de wisent
Wieren, S.E. van; WallisDeVries, M.F. - \ 1999
De Nieuwe Wildernis (1999). - p. 4 - 7.
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