F. Berendse

Wageningen University, Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands

Are you F. Berendse?

Claim your profile

Publications (253)698 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 1. The storage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil are important ecosystem functions. Grassland biodiversity experiments have shown a positive effect of plant diversity on soil C and N storage. However, these experiments all included legumes, which constitute an important N input through N2-fixation. Indeed, the results of these experiments suggest that N2-fixation by legumes is a major driver of soil C and N storage.2. We studied whether plant diversity affects soil C and N storage in the absence of legumes. In an 11-years grassland biodiversity experiment without legumes, we measured soil C and N stocks. We further determined above-ground biomass productivity, standing root biomass, soil organic matter decomposition and N mineralization rates to understand the mechanisms underlying the change in soil C and N stocks in relation to plant diversity and their feedbacks to plant productivity.3. We found that soil C and N stocks increased by 18 and 16% in eight-species mixtures compared to the average of monocultures of the same species, respectively. Increased soil C and N stocks were mainly driven by increased C input and N retention, resulting from enhanced plant productivity, which surpassed enhanced C loss from decomposition. Importantly, higher soil C and N stocks were associated with enhanced soil N mineralization rates, which can explain the strengthening of the positive diversity-productivity relationship observed in the last years of the experiment.4. Synthesis: We demonstrated that also in the absence of legumes plant species richness promotes soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks via increased plant productivity. In turn, enhanced soil C and N stocks showed a positive feedback to plant productivity via enhanced N mineralization, which could further accelerate soil C and N storage in the long term.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Ecology 06/2014; · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The decomposition of dead organic matter is a major determinant of carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, and of carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Decomposition is driven by a vast diversity of organisms that are structured in complex food webs. Identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of biodiversity on decomposition is critical given the rapid loss of species worldwide and the effects of this loss on human well-being. Yet despite comprehensive syntheses of studies on how biodiversity affects litter decomposition, key questions remain, including when, where and how biodiversity has a role and whether general patterns and mechanisms occur across ecosystems and different functional types of organism. Here, in field experiments across five terrestrial and aquatic locations, ranging from the subarctic to the tropics, we show that reducing the functional diversity of decomposer organisms and plant litter types slowed the cycling of litter carbon and nitrogen. Moreover, we found evidence of nitrogen transfer from the litter of nitrogen-fixing plants to that of rapidly decomposing plants, but not between other plant functional types, highlighting that specific interactions in litter mixtures control carbon and nitrogen cycling during decomposition. The emergence of this general mechanism and the coherence of patterns across contrasting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suggest that biodiversity loss has consistent consequences for litter decomposition and the cycling of major elements on broad spatial scales.
    Nature 05/2014; 509(7499):218-21. · 38.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rapidly increasing levels of light pollution subject nocturnal organisms to major alterations of their habitat, the ecological consequences of which are largely unknown. Moths are well-known to be attracted to light at night, but effects of light on other aspects of moth ecology, such as larval development and life-history, remain unknown. Such effects may have important consequences for fitness and thus for moth population sizes. To study the effects of artificial night lighting on development and life-history of moths, we experimentally subjected Mamestra brassicae (Noctuidae) caterpillars to low intensity green, white, red or no artificial light at night and determined their growth rate, maximum caterpillar mass, age at pupation, pupal mass and pupation duration. We found sex-specific effects of artificial light on caterpillar life-history, with male caterpillars subjected to green and white light reaching a lower maximum mass, pupating earlier and obtaining a lower pupal mass than male caterpillars under red light or in darkness. These effects can have major implications for fitness, but were absent in female caterpillars. Moreover, by the time that the first adult moth from the dark control treatment emerged from its pupa (after 110 days), about 85% of the moths that were under green light and 83% of the moths that were under white light had already emerged. These differences in pupation duration occurred in both sexes and were highly significant, and likely result from diapause inhibition by artificial night lighting. We conclude that low levels of nocturnal illumination can disrupt life-histories in moths and inhibit the initiation of pupal diapause. This may result in reduced fitness and increased mortality. The application of red light, instead of white or green light, might be an appropriate measure to mitigate negative artificial light effects on moth life history.
    Ecology and Evolution 04/2014; · 1.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Northern peatlands represent a large global carbon store that can potentially be destabilized by summer water table drawdown. Precipitation can moderate the negative impacts of water table drawdown by rewetting peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.), the ecosystem's key species. Yet, the frequency of such rewetting required for it to be effective remains unknown. We experimentally assessed the importance of precipitation frequency for Sphagnum water supply and carbon uptake during a stepwise decrease in water tables in a growth chamber. CO2 exchange and the water balance were measured for intact cores of three peatmoss species (Sphagnum majus, Sphagnum balticum and Sphagnum fuscum) representative of three hydrologically distinct peatland microhabitats (hollow, lawn and hummock) and expected to differ in their water table-precipitation relationships. Precipitation contributed significantly to peatmoss water supply when the water table was deep, demonstrating the importance of precipitation during drought. The ability to exploit transient resources was species-specific; S. fuscum carbon uptake increased linearly with precipitation frequency for deep water tables, whereas carbon uptake by S. balticum and S. majus was depressed at intermediate precipitation frequencies. Our results highlight an important role for precipitation in carbon uptake by peatmosses. Yet, the potential to moderate the impact of drought is species-specific and dependent on the temporal distribution of precipitation.
    New Phytologist 04/2014; · 6.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Raised bogs have accumulated more atmospheric carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Climate-induced expansion of trees and shrubs may turn these ecosystems from net carbon sinks into sources when associated with reduced water tables. Increasing water loss through tree evapotranspiration could potentially deepen water tables, thus stimulating peat decomposition and carbon release. Bridging the gap between modelling and field studies, we conducted a three-year mesocosm experiment subjecting natural bog vegetation to three birch tree densities, and studied the changes in subsurface temperature, water balance components, leaf area index and vegetation composition. We found the deepest water table in mesocosms with low tree density. Mesocosms with high tree density remained wettest (i.e. highest water tables) whereas the control treatment without trees had intermediate water tables. These differences are attributed mostly to differences in evapotranspiration. Although our mesocosm results cannot be directly scaled up to ecosystem level, the systematic effect of tree density suggests that as bogs become colonized by trees, the effect of trees on ecosystem water loss changes with time, with tree transpiration effects of drying becoming increasingly offset by shading effects during the later phases of tree encroachment. These density-dependent effects of trees on water loss have important implications for the structure and functioning of peatbogs.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e91748. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of agri-environment schemes (AES) in enhancing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is still strongly debated. In the Netherlands, one of the most widely implemented AES is the management of ditch banks to enhance plant species diversity. Previous research has shown that this type of AES has not led to increases in plant diversity. However, this work also showed that the success of this type of AES may depend on the presence of source populations in the surrounding areas. In this study we investigated if species-rich nature reserves can act as seed sources for agricultural ditch banks under AES and whether this function of nature reserves differs among plant species with different dispersal capacities. We used data collected by farmers over a 10 year period to analyse trends in species richness of target plants and in different dispersal groups in ditch banks under AES at different distances from nature reserves. Our results demonstrate that nature reserves can act as species rich sources in agricultural landscapes and that adjacent AES ditch banks can facilitate the colonisation of the surrounding agricultural landscape. However, the suitability of ditch banks as corridors depends on the dispersal capacity of a species. Particularly water-dispersed species clearly spread from nature reserves into the surrounding agricultural landscape along ditches. In contrast, species without adaptations to disperse over long distances do not show these spatiotemporal patterns.
    Biological Conservation 01/2014; 171:91–98. · 3.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ob selbstregulierte große Herbivoren eine Schlüsselrolle für die Entwicklung von Waldweidelandschaften spielen, bleibt eine entscheidende unbeantwortete Frage, sowohl für die ökologische Theorie als auch den Naturschutz. Wir beschreiben und analysieren, wie eine teilweise selbstregulierte Population von Rindern, Pferden und Rotwild die Entwicklung der Gehölzvegetation im Naturreservat Oostvaardersplassen (Niederlande) beeinflusste. Mit Hilfe von Luftaufnahmen von 1980 bis 2011 analysierten wir die Entwicklung von Sträuchern und Bäumen. Bevor die Groß-Herbivoren 1983 nach Oostvaardersplassen eingeführt wurden, hatte die Gehölzvegetation zugenommen und der Vegetationstyp signifikant die Zahl der Neuansiedlungen beeinflusst. Der Deckungsgrad der Gehölzarten nahm von 1983 bis 1996 weiter zu, nicht nur durch Wachstum der Kronen, sondern auch durch neue Ansiedlungen. Nach 1996 nahm der Deckungsgrad der Gehölzvegetation von 30% auf unter 1% im Jahre 2011 ab, und keine Neuansiedlungen wurden auf den Photographien beobachtet. Die Überlebensraten von Sambucus nigra und Salix spp. nahmen mit der Entfernung zum Grasland ab, welches das bevorzugte Weidehabitat der Groß-Herbivoren darstellt. Diese Ergebnisse unterstützen die Hypothese von der Genießbarkeit durch Vergemeinschaftung. Darüber hinaus zeigen unsere Ergebnisse, dass die relative Abnahme des Deckungsgrades von Sambucus nigra und Salix spp. über eine bestimmte Periode negativ mit dem Deckungsgrad von Sambucus nigra am Anfang dieser Periode korreliert war, wodurch ein gewisser Anhaltspunkt für die Hypothesen von der gemeinschaftsbedingten Abwehr und Abwehr durch Aggregation gegeben wird. Unsere Untersuchungen zeigten Aspekte auf, die notwendig für einen Wald-Grasland-Zyklus sind: ein starker Rückgang der Gehölzvegetation bei hohen Dichten der Groß-Herbivoren und eine Regeneration der Sträucher und Bäume bei geringen Dichten. Dornentragende Sträucher, die wichtig für den Zyklus sind, haben sich bisher noch nicht auf den Grasländern angesiedelt. Es scheint, dass ein zeitweiser Rückgang der Herbivorendichten notwendig ist, um ein Gelegenheitsfenster für die Ansiedlung dieser Gehölzarten zu öffnen.
    Basic and Applied Ecology 01/2014; · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is generally known that managed, drained peatlands act as carbon sources. In this study we examined how mitigation through the reduction of management and through rewetting may affect the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and the carbon balance of intensively managed, drained, agricultural peatlands. Carbon and GHG balances were determined for three peatlands in the western part of the Netherlands from 2005 to 2008 by considering spatial and temporal variability of emissions (CO2, CH4 and N2O). One area (Oukoop) is an intensively managed grass-on-peatland, including a dairy farm, with the ground water level at an average annual depth of 0.55 m below the soil surface. The second area (Stein) is an extensively managed grass-on-peatland, formerly intensively managed, with a dynamic ground water level at an average annual depth of 0.45 m below the soil surface. The third area is an (since 1998) rewetted former agricultural peatland (Horstermeer), close to Oukoop and Stein, with the average annual ground water level at a depth of 0.2 m below the soil surface. During the measurement campaigns we found that both agriculturally managed sites acted as carbon and GHG sources but the rewetted agricultural peatland acted as a carbon and GHG sink. The terrestrial GHG source strength was 1.4 kg CO2-eq m-2 yr-1 for the intensively managed area and 1.0 kg CO2-eq m-2 yr-1 for the extensively managed area; the unmanaged area acted as a GHG sink of 0.7 kg CO2-eq m-2 yr-1. Water bodies contributed significantly to the terrestrial GHG balance because of a high release of CH4 and the loss of DOC only played a minor role. Adding the farm-based CO2 and CH4 emissions increased the source strength for the managed sites to 2.7 kg CO2-eq m-2 yr-1 for Oukoop and 2.1 kg CO2-eq m-2 yr-1 for Stein. Shifting from intensively managed to extensively managed grass-on-peat reduced GHG emissions mainly because N2O emission and farm-based CH4 emissions decreased. Overall, this study suggests that managed peatlands are large sources of GHG and carbon, but, if appropriate measures are taken they can be turned back into GHG and carbon sinks within 15 yr of abandonment and rewetting.
    Biogeosciences Discussions 06/2013; 10(6):9697-9738.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Management of ditch banks of agricultural fields is considered to be a promising and multifunctional application of agri-environment schemes (AES) on farmland. Our previous esearch has shown that in the Netherlands, there is a small increase in the number of target plant species of AES in ditch banks. However, the productivity and Ellenberg indicator value or nitrogen also increased. This suggests a change in species composition towards more competitive species. This is important, because management mainly focuses on restoring disturbance tolerant species that used to be common in meadows, rather than competitive dominants. In this study we use a large scale dataset of target species composition in ditch banks of nature reserves and ditch banks with and without AES over 10 years to monitor esults of functional plant species groups under these different management regimes. Our analyses show that plant functional type composition in ditch banks of agricultural fields ndeed shifted towards more competitive species over the last 10 years, independent of AES. In nature reserves, a similar increase in competitive species was observed. The shift owards more competitive species was reflected in the increase of the average height of he vegetation and the increase in species with a leafy canopy structure, whereas species with a semi-basal canopy structure were decreasing. We conclude that current AES does not increase the number of targeted disturbance tolerant species and that more disturbance such as more frequent mowing is required to obtain these species.
    Aspects of Applied Biology; 04/2013
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, an important current scientific challenge is to understand and predict the consequences of biodiversity loss. Here, we develop a theory that predicts the temporal variability of community biomass from the properties of individual component species in monoculture. Our theory shows that biodiversity stabilises ecosystems through three main mechanisms: (1) asynchrony in species' responses to environmental fluctuations, (2) reduced demographic stochasticity due to overyielding in species mixtures and (3) reduced observation error (including spatial and sampling variability). Parameterised with empirical data from four long-term grassland biodiversity experiments, our prediction explained 22-75% of the observed variability, and captured much of the effect of species richness. Richness stabilised communities mainly by increasing community biomass and reducing the strength of demographic stochasticity. Our approach calls for a re-evaluation of the mechanisms explaining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem stability.
    Ecology Letters 02/2013; · 17.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To comprehend the potential consequences of biodiversity loss on the leaf litter decomposition process, a better understanding of its underlying mechanisms is necessary. Here, we hypothesize that positive litter mixture effects occur via complementary resource use, when litter species complement each other in terms of resource quality for detritivores. To investigate this, monocultures and mixtures of two leaf litter species varying in quality were allowed to decompose with and without a single macro-detritivore species (the terrestrial woodlice Oniscus asellus). Resource quality of the mixture was assessed by the mean concentration, the dissimilarity in absolute and relative concentrations, and the covariance between nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) supply. Our results clearly show that litter mixing effects were driven by differences in their resource quality for detritivores. In particular, complementary supply of N and P was a major driver of litter mixing effects. Interestingly, litter mixing effects caused by the addition of woodlice were predominantly driven by N dissimilarity, whereas in their absence, increased P concentration was the main driver of litter mixing effects. These results show that ultimately, litter diversity effects on decomposition may be driven by complementary resource use of the whole decomposer community (i.e., microbes and macro-detritivores).
    Oecologia 01/2013; · 3.01 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many of the agri-environment schemes (AES) implemented in the Western Peat District of the Netherlands have as their objective the conservation of the diversity of ditch bank plants. We investigated the effects of AES on ditch bank species in this area, using a dataset collected by 377 farmers who managed and monitored ditch banks during a 10-year period. We found that species richness has increased minimally over the last 10 years in ditch banks. Yet, we found no differences in increases in time between ditch banks with and without AES. In both ditch bank types plant species composition changed to species with higher nitrogen tolerance. Furthermore, species that disperse over long distances by water increased, whereas species with no capacity to disperse over long distances declined in both ditch bank types. This indicates that changes in vegetation composition in ditch banks are affected by other factors than AES.ZusammenfassungViele der Naturschutzprogramme für die Agrarlandschaft (AES), die in den westlichen Torfmoorgebieten der Niederlande zum Einsatz kommen, setzen sich zum Ziel, die Diversität der Uferpflanzen in Gräben zu erhalten. Wir untersuchten die Auswirkungen der AES auf die Arten der Ufer von Gräben in diesem Gebiet, und nutzten dafür einen Datensatz, der während einer 10-Jahresperiode von 377 Landwirten gesammelt wurde, welche die Grabenufer managten und erfassten. Wir haben herausgefunden, dass der Artenreichtum an den Grabenufern in den letzten zehn Jahren minimal zunahm. Dennoch fanden wir keinen Unterschied in der Zunahme zwischen den Grabenufern mit und ohne AES. Bei beiden Grabenufertypen veränderte sich die Pflanzenartenzusammensetzung hin zu Arten mit einer höheren Stickstofftoleranz. Darüber hinaus nahmen die Arten zu, die sich über weite Distanzen mit dem Wasser verbreiten, während Arten, denen die Möglichkeit fehlt, sich über weite Distanzen auszubreiten, bei beiden Grabenufertypen abnahmen. Dies zeigt, dass die Veränderungen in der Vegetationszusammensetzung nicht durch die AES sondern durch andere Faktoren beeinflusst werden.
    Basic and Applied Ecology 01/2013; 14:289-297. · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent decades, Skylark (Alauda arvensis) populations in Europe have declined sharply due to agricultural intensification. Insufficient reproduction rates are one reason. Increased winter mortality may also be important, but studies outside the breeding season are scarce and mostly limited to the UK. We studied habitat selection of wintering Skylarks in an agricultural area in the Netherlands. We monitored Skylarks between November 2008 and March 2009 on 10 survey plots including 77 different arable fields and permanent grasslands and covering in total 480 ha. We simultaneously measured food availability, vegetation structure and field boundary characteristics. We also analysed 158 faecal pellets collected on potato and cereal stubble fields to relate Skylark diet to seasonal changes in food availability and foraging habitat. We show that cereal stubble fields larger than 4.3 ha, surrounded by no or low boundary vegetation and a density of dietary seeds of more than 860 seeds m−2, were most suitable for wintering Skylarks. Skylark group densities were low on permanent grasslands and on maize stubble fields. Densities of dietary seeds were highest in soils of potato stubble fields followed by cereal stubble fields, grasslands and maize stubble fields. Skylarks showed a strong preference for cereal grains, but their proportion in the diet fell sharply at the end of November, indicating that cereal grains were depleted and birds had to switch to less profitable food sources, such as weed seeds and leaves. We conclude that Skylarks wintering in agricultural landscapes possibly suffer from a lack of energy-rich food sources and only a few fields provide sufficient food. Conservation measures should strive to improve the wintering situation by creating food-rich habitats such as over-winter stubble with a rich layer of weeds on large fields and localised in open areas.
    Journal of Ornithology. 01/2013;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: European farmland bird populations have decreased dramatically in recent decades and agricultural intensification has been identified as the main cause contributing to these declines. Identifying which specific intensification pressures are driving those population trends seems vital for bird conservation in European farmland. We investigated the response of ground-nesting farmland birds to the multivariate process of agricultural intensification in six European countries covering a bio-geographical and intensification gradient. Supported by PCA analysis, two groups of factors, related to field management and landscape modification, were considered, seeking to discriminate the relative importance of the effects of these main intensification components. Variance partition analysis showed that landscape factors accounted for most of the variation of ground-nesting farmland bird individual and breeding pair densities, as well as Skylark (i.e. our single model species) individual densities. In the case of Skylark breeders, field factors were found to be more important to explain their density. Our results suggest that in general farmland bird densities as well as Skylark densities are higher in simple landscapes dominated by agriculture, but with smaller fields and more different crops on the farms. In addition, high yields were negatively related to bird densities. We conclude that while management actions aimed at farmland bird conservation taken at landscape level may exert a strong positive effect on overall bird densities, those taken at field level are also relevant, particularly for breeders and, therefore, may potentially influence the persistence of these species’ populations.
    Biological Conservation 04/2012; · 3.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In eight European study sites (in Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Estonia and Sweden), abundance of breeding farmland bird territories was obtained from 500 x 500 m survey plots (30 per area, N = 240) using the mapping method. Two analyses were performed: (I) a Canonical Correspondence Analysis of species abundance in relation to geographical location and variables measuring agricultural intensification at field and farm level to identify significant intensification variables and to estimate the fractions of total variance in bird abundance explained by geography and agricultural intensification; (II) several taxonomic and functional community indices were built and analysed using GLM in relation to the intensification variables found significant in the CCA. The geographical location of study sites alone explains nearly one fifth (19.5%) of total variation in species abundance. The fraction of variance explained by agricultural intensification alone is much smaller (4.3%), although significant. The intersectionexplains nearly two fifths (37.8%) of variance in species abundance. Community indices are negatively affected by correlates of intensification like farm size and yield, whereas correlates of habitat availability and quality have positive effects on taxonomic and functional diversity of assemblages. Most of the purely geographical variation in farmland bird assemblage composition is associated to Mediterranean steppe species, reflecting the bio-geographical singularity of that assemblage and reinforcing the need to preserve this community. Taxonomic and functional diversity of farmland bird communities are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and positively affected by increasing farmland habitat availability and quality.
    Biodiversity and Conservation 09/2011; 20(14):3663-3681. · 2.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently observed Arctic greening trends from normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data suggest that shrub growth is increasing in response to increasing summer temperature. An increase in shrub cover is expected to decrease summer albedo and thus positively feed back to climate warming. However, it is unknown how albedo and NDVI are affected by shrub cover and inter-annual variations in the summer climate. Here, we examine the relationship between deciduous shrub fractional cover, NDVI and albedo using field data collected at a tundra site in NE Siberia. Field data showed that NDVI increased and albedo decreased with increasing deciduous shrub cover. We then selected four Arctic tundra study areas and compiled annual growing season maximum NDVI and minimum albedo maps from MODIS satellite data (2000–10) and related these satellite products to tundra vegetation types (shrub, graminoid, barren and wetland tundra) and regional summer temperature. We observed that maximum NDVI was greatest in shrub tundra and that inter-annual variation was negatively related to summer minimum albedo but showed no consistent relationship with summer temperature. Shrub tundra showed higher albedo than wetland and barren tundra in all four study areas. These results suggest that a northwards shift of shrub tundra might not lead to a decrease in summer minimum albedo during the snow-free season when replacing wetland tundra. A fully integrative study is however needed to link results from satellite data with in situ observations across the Arctic to test the effect of increasing shrub cover on summer albedo in different tundra vegetation types.
    Environmental Research Letters 09/2011; 6(3):035502. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Effects of agricultural intensification (AI) on biodiversity are often assessed on the plot scale, although processes determining diversity also operate on larger spatial scales. Here, we analyzed the diversity of vascular plants, carabid beetles, and birds in agricultural landscapes in cereal crop fields at the field (n = 1350), farm (n = 270), and European-region (n = 9) scale. We partitioned diversity into its additive components alpha, beta, and gamma, and assessed the relative contribution of beta diversity to total species richness at each spatial scale. AI was determined using pesticide and fertilizer inputs, as well as tillage operations and categorized into low, medium, and high levels. As AI was not significantly related to landscape complexity, we could disentangle potential AI effects on local vs. landscape community homogenization. AI negatively affected the species richness of plants and birds, but not carabid beetles, at all spatial scales. Hence, local AI was closely correlated to beta diversity on larger scales up to the farm and region level, and thereby was an indicator of farm- and region-wide biodiversity losses. At the scale of farms (12.83-20.52%) and regions (68.34-80.18%), beta diversity accounted for the major part of the total species richness for all three taxa, indicating great dissimilarity in environmental conditions on larger spatial scales. For plants, relative importance of alpha diversity decreased with AI, while relative importance of beta diversity on the farm scale increased with AI for carabids and birds. Hence, and in contrast to our expectations, AI does not necessarily homogenize local communities, presumably due to the heterogeneity of farming practices. In conclusion, a more detailed understanding of AI effects on diversity patterns of various taxa and at multiple spatial scales would contribute to more efficient agri-environmental schemes in agroecosystems.
    Ecological Applications 07/2011; 21(5):1772-81. · 3.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nutrient enrichment of habitats (eutrophication) is considered to be one of the main causes of plant diversity decline worldwide. Several experiments have shown a rapid loss of species in the first years after fertilization started. However, little is known about changes in species richness in the long term. Here, we use a 50-year-old field experiment with a range of fertilization treatments in grasslands that were mown twice each year in the center of The Netherlands. We show that species richness in all plots initially declined but started to recover after approximately 25 years of continued fertilization. This was also true for the heavily fertilized treatment (NPK). In NPK-fertilized plots, the decline was strongest and associated with a strong divergence of plant trait composition from the control, reflecting a shift to a plant community adapted to nutrient-rich conditions. During the subsequent period of increase in species richness, the trait composition remained stable. These results show that plant species richness can, at least partially, recover after an initial diversity decline caused by fertilization.
    Ecology 07/2011; 92(7):1393-8. · 5.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The importance of leaf litter diversity for decomposition, an important process in terrestrial ecosystems, is much debated. Previous leaf litter-mixing studies have shown that non-additive leaf litter diversity effects can occur, but it is not clear why they occurred in only half of the studies and which underlying mechanisms can explain these conflicting results. We hypothesized that incorporating the role of macro-detritivores could be important. Although often ignored, macro-detritivores are known to strongly influence decomposition. To better understand the importance of macro-detritivores for leaf litter mixing effects during decomposition, four common leaf litter species were added separately and in two and four species combinations to monocultures of three different macro-detritivores and a control without fauna. Our results clearly show that leaf litter-mixing effects occurred only in the presence of two macro-detritivores (earthworms and woodlice). Application of the additive partitioning method revealed that in the specific combination of woodlice and the presence of a slow-decomposing leaf litter species in the mixture, leaf litter mixing effects were strongly driven by a selection effect. This was caused by food preference of the isopod: the animals avoided the slow decomposing species when given the choice. However, most leaf litter mixing effects were caused by complementarity effects. The potential mechanisms underlying the complementarity effects are discussed. Our results clearly show that that both leaf litter and macro-detritivore identity can affect litter diversity. This may help to explain the conflicting results obtained in previous experiments.
    Oikos 06/2011; 120(7):1092 - 1098. · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Basic and Applied Ecology 06/2011; 12(4):386–387. · 2.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
698.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1994–2014
    • Wageningen University
      • • Department of Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
      • • Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology Group
      Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • Department of Ecological Science
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • University of Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2003
    • Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1981–2000
    • Utrecht University
      • Division of Plant Ecophysiology
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1999
    • University of Groningen
      • Laboratory of Plant Physiology
      Groningen, Province of Groningen, Netherlands