Alfons J P Smolders

Alfons J P Smolders
Radboud University | RU · Institute for Water and Wetland Research

PhD

About

312
Publications
62,917
Reads
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10,293
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2015 - present
Radboud University
Position
  • Professor by special appointment
November 2002 - present
B-WARE Research Centre
B-WARE Research Centre
Position
  • Consultant
January 2000 - December 2012
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

Publications

Publications (312)
Article
Full-text available
The digital revolution also had a great impact on nature research. Research data are usually collected, found or shared in digital form nowadays, which makes them easily and broad accessible. However, there are also disadvantages. Non-digitised data, articles or research reports are being used less frequently, while essential information can be fou...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In beken liggen vanuit de Kaderrichtlijn Water (KRW) en Natura-2000 (N2000) duidelijke doelstellingen voor de aanwezigheid van waterplanten. Veel beektrajecten voldoen niet aan de Goede Ecologische Toestand van de KRW en voor de meeste beektrajecten in N2000-gebieden waarvoor H3260A (Beken en rivieren met waterplanten (waterranonkels)) als doelstel...
Article
Full-text available
Growth and functioning of Sphagnum mosses are closely linked to water level and chemistry. Sphagnum mosses occur in wet, generally acidic conditions and when buffered, alkaline water is known to negatively impact Sphagnum. The effects of time, dosage and species‐specific responses of buffered, alkaline water on Sphagnum are largely unknown. We inve...
Article
Full-text available
Veenbodems vormen de bakermat van Nederland. Met name wateronttrekking heeft sinds de middeleeuwen gezorgd voor een enorme bodemdaling. Tegenwoordig leidt dit tot een kostenpost van vele honderden miljoenen per jaar en een enorme uitstoot van CO2 en andere broeikasgassen. Water speelt nu een rol van betekenis in het stoppen en omkeren van de desast...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic ecosystems provide vital services, and macrophytes play a critical role in their functioning. Conceptual models indicate that in shallow lakes, plants with different growth strategies are expected to inhabit contrasting habitats. For shallow peat lakes, characterized by incohesive sediments, roles of growth forms, life-history strategies an...
Article
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SLOPING MIRES WITH RAISED BOG FEATURES AT THE BRANDENBERG NATURE RESERVE The area known as Brandenberg in the north-eastern part of southern Limburg includes some sloping mires which harbour a well-developed bog vegetation. Their Natura 2000 habitat type can be classified as active raised bog (7110B), with a dominance of peat mosses (Sphagnum spec....
Article
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Chemical characteristics of Dutch poor and rich fens and effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition The vegetation composition of Dutch poor and rich fens of terrestrialization peatlands can be divided into six groups, from mesotrophic brownmoss dominated rich fens to acidic sphagnum moss dominated poor fens. The porewater bicarbonate concentratio...
Article
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Loss and new development of rich fens in the Nieuwkoopse Plassen The habitat type rich fens (H7140A) has become a rarity in the Netherlands and is under pressure of acidification and eutrophication. The natural area De Haak harboured the last well developed rich fen vegetation in the west of the Netherlands. This rich fen vegetation seemed to have...
Article
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Fluctuating water levels and the resurrectionof rich fens in the Netherlands In the Rottige Meente scorpidium scorpioides dominated rich fen (H7140A) vegetation was restored by actively fluctuating water levels and long-term inundation (weeks). The leading factors causing peatmoss dominated poor fen vegetation to diminish and the development of ri...
Article
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Petrifying-springs and Calcareous-spring-mires are threatened ecosystems in Europe and are protected under the Natura 2000 Habitats Directive. In European and national legislations Petrifying-springs and associated tufa cascades, small streams and flushes (7220) are treated as separate entities from Alkaline-fens and Calcareous-spring-mires (7230),...
Article
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Due to high waste sludge disposal at wastewater treatment plants and increasing phosphorus scarcity, there is a need to combine waste removal and nutrient recovery. One way to achieve this is by incorporating ecological processes into wastewater treatment. Positive species interactions, such as facilitation, are critical to increase productivity of...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, peatlands have been affected by drainage and peat extraction, with adverse effects on their functioning and services. To restore peat-forming vegetation, drained bogs are being rewetted on a large scale. Although this practice results in higher groundwater levels, unfortunately it often creates deep lakes in parts where peat was extracted...
Article
Full-text available
Degraded peatlands are often rewetted to prevent oxidation of the peat, which reduces CO2 emission. However, the created anoxic conditions will boost methane (CH4) production and thus emission. Here, we show that submerged Sphagnum peat mosses in rewetted-submerged peatlands can reduce CH4 emission from peatlands with 93%. We were able to mimic the...
Article
Full-text available
The nutrients imported by breeding waterbirds should be considered when identifying the main sources of nutrient input to lakes. Lake Lesser Prespa (Greece), including the adjacent Vromolimni pond, hosts numerous protected waterbirds that nest in densely populated colonies across the reedbeds. The accelerated eutrophication of the lake in recent ye...
Data
Concentration of microcystin variants (dmRR, RR, YR, dmLR, LR, LY, LW, LF), nodularin (NOD) and total microcystin concentrations (µg L-1) at various locations in the Prespa Lakes in Greece during 2012-2014.
Article
Full-text available
The Prespa Lakes area in Greece—comprised partly of lake Great and lake Lesser Prespa and the Vromolimni pond—has a global importance for biodiversity. Although the waters show regular cyanobacteria blooms, assessments of water quality threats are limited. Samples collected in 2012 revealed scattered and low microcystin (MC) concentrations in Great...
Article
Full-text available
In the past, the aquatic pteridophyte Marsilea quadrifolia L. was considered as a weed in paddy fields of southern Europe. The systematic use of herbicides as a crucial component of intensive agronomic approach has led to a dramatic decline in M. quadrifolia populations in European countries, mostly in the Mediterranean area. However, the introduct...
Technical Report
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Een studie naar de effecten van herbivorie, bodemwoeling, saliniteit, turbiditeit en waterbodemeigenschappen op ondergedoken waterplanten op Goeree-Overflakkee
Article
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Newly constructed wetlands are created to provide a range of ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration. Our understanding of the initial factors leading to successful peat formation in such environments is, however, limited. In a new 100-ha wetland that was created north of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), we conducted an experiment to determi...
Article
Full-text available
_______________________________________________________________________________________ SUMMARY Worldwide, drainage-based water management is applied to facilitate agricultural use of coastal peatland areas, leading to large-scale peat oxidation and land subsidence. Meanwhile, there is a strong call for a more sustainable use and management of drai...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, large-scale land drainage has severely deteriorated the functioning and services of peatlands, making restoration plans of the utmost importance. Rewetting is essential for the restoration of drained peatlands, but the level of success including greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation largely depends on the soil microbiome interactions under the...
Article
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The future of formerly brackish peatlands: effects of salinization The last decades, Dutch former brackish peatlands have been heavily influenced by fresh surface water. The decrease in salinity led to a decrease of brackish water dependent species and Natura 2000 habitat types. Resalinization is currently considered. The present article summarizes...
Article
Full-text available
The agricultural use of drained peatlands leads to huge emissions of greenhouse gases and nutrients. A land-use alternative that allows rewetting of drained peatland while maintaining agricultural production is the cultivation of Sphagnum biomass as a renewable substitute for fossil peat in horticultural growing media (Sphagnum farming). We studied...
Article
Full-text available
Lake Lesser Prespa in Greece is a vital breeding habitat for the Dalmatian and Great White Pelican and a shelter for numerous rare and endemic species. However, eutrophication processes are distressing the lake system and the outbreaks of cyanobacterial blooms during the warm months may pose a threat to aquatic organisms due to the presence of micr...
Chapter
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The percolation and sloping mires near Brunssum (Southern Limburg), which are the remnants of a former extended mire complex, are characterized by the discharge and through flow of relatively base-poor groundwater. They are characterized by a high abundance of rheophilous species, comparable to lagg zones of intact raised bog landscapes. Despite th...
Article
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The future of our peat meadow landscape. About rewetting, ‘optoppen’ (‘layering up’) and peat moss cultivation (Sphagnum farming) The cultivated peat meadow landscape is a characteristic Dutch landscape, but it also provokes serious problems. As a result of severe drainage, the peat soil becomes aerated and decomposes fast, resulting in the emissi...
Article
Full-text available
Sphagnum mosses are poikilohydric bryophytes, i.e. dependent on nearly-constant wet conditions. Exposure to mineral-enriched water has long been recognised as a threat to Sphagnum mosses and a driver of niche formation. Atrophy of Sphagnum is currently attributed to high pH in combination with high calcium concentration. Because the natural occurre...
Article
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In 2016 an extensive research was undertaken to collect data on water chemistry and bryophyte composition of about 150 petrifying springs in Dutch South Limburg and other parts of North western and Eastern Europe. The database also included data from an international sampling survey of 51 springs. The research aimed at a better insight into the abi...
Article
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Foundation species often interact with each other and co-create habitat upon which other species depend. Whether the presence of these facilitated species feeds back to mediate the growth and resilience of the foundation species themselves, and influence the strength of their interactions, remains poorly understood. In a 16-month field experiment i...
Article
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Artificial water bodies like ditches, fish ponds, weirs, reservoirs, fish ladders, and irrigation channels are usually constructed and managed to optimize their intended purposes. However, human-made aquatic systems also have unintended consequences on ecosystem services and biogeochemical cycles. Knowledge about their functioning and possible addi...
Article
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Mires and peatlands in general are heavily influenced by anthropogenic stressors like acidification, eutrophication, desiccation and fragmentation. Groundwater-fed mires are, in contrast to rainwater-fed mires, often well protected against desiccation due to constant groundwater discharge. Groundwater-fed mires can however be influenced by groundwa...
Article
Salt marshes suffered large‐scale degradation in recent decades. Extreme events such as hot and dry spells contributed significantly to this, and are predicted to increase not only in intensity, but also in frequency under future climate scenarios. Such repetitive extreme events may generate cumulative effects on ecosystem resilience. It is therefo...
Article
Full-text available
Worldwide, coastal freshwater wetlands are facing salinization at an increasing rate due to large-scale land use change, freshwater extraction, climate-driven sea level rise, droughts and land subsidence. Although it is known that increased surface water salinity does influence wetland functioning, effects on nutrient dynamics reported in literatur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wetlands present the largest natural sources of methane (CH 4 ) and their potential CH 4 emissions greatly vary due to the activity of CH 4 -oxidizing bacteria associated with wetland plant species. In this study, the association of CH 4 -oxidizing bacteria with submerged Sphagnum peat mosses was studied, followed by the development of a novel meso...
Article
Wetlands present the largest natural sources of methane (CH_4) and their potential CH_4 emissions greatly vary due to the activity of CH_4-oxidizing bacteria associated with wetland plant species. In this study, the association of CH_4-oxidizing bacteria with submerged Sphagnum peat mosses was studied, followed by the development of a novel mesocos...
Article
Paludiculture, the cultivation of crops on wet or rewetted agricultural peatlands, sustainably integrates productive land use with the provision of multiple ecosystem services. Paludiculture crops thrive under waterlogged conditions that stimulate nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) removal from soil and water and convert serious drainage-induced carbo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction/Aim: During the last 35 years, large scale vegetation changes took place within the reedbed communities of Prespa National Park, NW Greece, with narrowleaf cattail (Typha angustifolia L.) encroaching within beds of common reed (Phragmites australis L.). The aim of this study is to investigate the causes behind this change, as well as t...
Article
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_______________________________________________________________________________________ SUMMARY Sphagnum farming-the production of Sphagnum biomass on rewetted bogs-helps towards achieving global climate goals by halting greenhouse gas emissions from drained peat and by replacing peat with a renewable biomass alternative. Large-scale implementation...
Article
As a result of altered land use, water shortage and eutrophication, aquatic and semi-aquatic biodiversity in minerotrophic peatlands has severely declined in The Netherlands. After the improvement of surface water quality following hydrological and other measures, biodiversity is now increasing again in many reserves including former peat extractio...
Article
Full-text available
Surface water salinization is increasing in coastal zones globally due to the anthropogenic forces like sea level rise, land subsidence, altered hydrology, and climate change. Although surface water salinization is known to influence both biogeochemical and hydrological processes in aquatic sediments, only few studies have assessed the potential in...
Article
Full-text available
Deterioration and restoration of minerotrophic waters in the Dutch peat landscape As a result of altered land use, water shortage and eu- trophication, aquatic and semi-aquatic biodiversi- ty in minerotrophic peatlands has severely declined in The Netherlands. After the improvement of surface water quality following hydrological and other meas- ur...
Article
Full-text available
Lake Lesser Prespa and its adjacent pond, Vromolimni in Greece, is a shallow freshwater system and a highly protected area hosting an exceptional biodiversity. The occurrence of microcystins (MCs) producing cyanobacterial blooms in these waters during recent years can be harmful to the wildlife. We tested the hypothesis that both cyanobacterial bio...
Article
Full-text available
Azolla spp., a water fern often used for phytoremediation, is a strong phosphorus (P) accumulator due to its high growth rate and N2 fixing symbionts (diazotrophs). It is known that plant growth is stimulated by P, but the nature of the interactive response of both symbionts along a P gradient, and related changes in growth-limiting factors, are un...
Article
Many endangered plant species remain absent in rewetted, previously drained fens. We performed a 3-year introduction experiment with endangered fen species (9 Carex- and 6 bryophyte species) in 4 hydrologically restored fens to investigate which factors hamper establishment and survival. Carex species were introduced as adults and seedlings, mosses...
Article
As a result of altered land use, water shortage and eutrophication, aquatic and semi-aquatic biodiversity in minerotrophic peatlands has severely declined in The Netherlands. After the improvement of surface water quality following hydrological and other measures, biodiversity is now increasing again in many reserves including former peat extractio...
Article
The addition of iron and calcium rich sludge from groundwater extraction processes, in the restoration of black alder carrs on abandoned rewetted agricultural lands, was investigated in a small-scale field experiment divided over three nature reserves differing in hydrology. We applied three different treatments with sludge to the (partly excavated...
Article
Water quality is still poor in many freshwater ecosystems around the world as a result of anthropogenic nutrient loading. Constructed wetlands can be used to remove excess nutrients. In these wetlands, helophytes or free floating aquatic plants are traditionally used to absorb the nutrients. The nutrients are subsequently exported upon harvesting o...