R.M. Bekker

R.M. Bekker
University of Groningen | RUG

Dr.

About

80
Publications
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10,362
Citations

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Full-text available
The article presents an overview of archaeobotanical research on artificial dwelling mounds, so-called ‘terps’, in the northern-Netherlands. A total of 40 studies carried out over the past 40 years is evaluated. The vegetation diversity in the area as well as the differences with the present marsh are studied. Seriation, Principal Component Analysi...
Chapter
The biodiversity of the open dune landscapes in the Netherlands is gradually declining due to less intensive use of the dunes, increased deposition of atmospheric nitrogen (5–10 fold increase between 1939 and 1981), and a growing need of drinking water for urban areas that led to desiccation of dune wetlands . Since 1990, numerous restoration proje...
Article
Full-text available
We present a new method of identifying past plant communities based on a palaeobotanical dataset. The dataset used as a case study consists of plant macro-remains retrieved from the Neolithic settlement Swifterbant S4, The Netherlands. Taxa were grouped based on their present-day concurrence values. Subsequently, phytosociological analysis was perf...
Article
Assembly theory predicts that filtering processes will select species by their attributes to build a community. Some filters increase functional similarity among species, while others lead to dissimilarity. Assuming converging processes to be dominant within habitats, we tested in this study whether species assemblages across a wide range of habita...
Book
The Digital Seed Atlas of the Netherlands, published in 2006, contains over 4,000 full colour digital photographs taken with a microscope and represents 1,828 taxa. The atlas comprises wild plants, adventitious plants and cultivated plants that have gone wild. The Digital Seed Atlas presents a unique picture of the variation and the characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Plant traits – the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants and their organs – determine how primary producers respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, influence ecosystem processes and services and provide a link from species richness to ecosystem functional diversity. T...
Article
Full-text available
Fens in Central Europe are characterised by waterlogged organic substrate and low productivity. Human-induced changes due to drainage and mowing lead to changes in plant species composition from natural fen communities to fen meadows and later to over-drained, degraded meadows. Moderate drainage leads to increased vegetation productivity, and sever...
Article
Weed management is complicated by the presence of soil seed banks. The complexity of soil–seed interactions means that seed persistence in the field is often difficult to measure, let alone predict. Field trials, although accurate in their context, are time-consuming and expensive to conduct for individual species. Some ex situ techniques for estim...
Article
An international group of scientists is building a ‘trait base’, an open internet database of life-history traits of the Northwest European flora (LEDA) that can be used as a tool in planning, in nature conservation and restoration, and in other applied research. The species-trait matrix will comprise referenced information under control of an edit...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing decline of many plant species in Northwest Europe indicates that traditional conservation measures to improve the habitat quality, although useful, are not enough to halt diversity losses. Using recent databases, we show for the first time that differences between species in adaptations to various dispersal vectors, in combination with...
Article
Full-text available
The interest was the seed longevity dynamics of annual ryegrass in natural conditions as an important tool to explain its dynamics in no tillage systems used in the South of Brazil. The species is commonly managed for natural re-sowing and, in this way, allows cattle grazing with reduced costs during the winter time. In February of 2003, twenty bag...
Article
In 2006 en 2007 zijn natuurontwikkelingsprojecten op zandgronden, waarbij speciaal voor dit doel ontgronding plaatsvond, onderzocht op hun vegetatieontwikkeling, bodemeigenschappen en structuur. Voor de evaluatie van de ingreep is ook gekeken naar vestiging en geschiktheid voor fauna na de ingreep. Dit artikel beschrijft de effecten op dagvlinders...
Article
1. An international group of scientists has built an open internet data base of life-history traits of the Northwest European flora (the LEDA-Traitbase) that can be used as a data source for fundamental research on plant biodiversity and coexistence, macro-ecological patterns and plant functional responses. 2. The species-trait matrix comprises re...
Article
Summary • Restoration of salt marshes on previously reclaimed land provides an excellent opportunity to study plant colonization and subsequent development of salt-marsh vegetation. Insight into the process of salt-marsh development can guide the design, implementation and evaluation of salt-marsh restoration schemes and help determine appropriate...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the following, we will discuss the complex interactions between dune slack vegetation, hydrological conditions, and management in dune slacks in order to conserve or restore these ecosystems for future generations. The examples discussed will be mostly from the NW European dune areas, where dune areas have been affected very negatively by human...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of the study was to characterize annual ryegrass seed population dynamics, managed for natural re-sowing, in no til systems in rotation with soybean, in different chronosequences An area was cultivated for two years with soybean, left as fallow land for the next two years and then cultivated again with soybean for the next two years....
Article
Full-text available
Summary During the last century, many plant species typical of heathland and nutrient-poor acidic grasslands have become rare whereas others have remained common. Habitat restoration often fails to enhance the rare species, which may in part be caused by the failure to restore the biogeochemical conditions suited to these species. Many soil variabl...
Article
Summary 1. During the last century, many plant species typical of heathland and nutrient-poor acidic grass- lands have become rare whereas others have remained common. Habitat restoration often fails to enhance the rare species, which may in part be caused by the failure to restore the biogeochemical conditions suited to these species. Many soil va...
Article
Questions: 1. Do relationships among forest plant traits correspond to dispersability-persistence trade-offs or other inter-trait correlations found in the literature? 2. Do species groups delineated by trait similarity, differ in occurrence in ancient vs. new forests or isolated vs more continuous forest patches? 3. Are these patterns consistent f...
Article
This Special Feature includes contributions on data-processing of large ecological datasets under the heading ecoinformatics. Herewith the latter term is now al so established in the Journal of Vegetation Science. Ecoinfomatics is introduced as a rapid growing field within community ecology which is generating exciting new developments in ecology a...
Article
Questions: 1. Which plant traits and habitat characteristics best explain local above-ground persistence of vascular plant species and 2. Is there a trade-off between local above-ground persistence and the ability for seed dispersal and below-ground persistence in the soil seed bank? Locations: 845 long-term permanent plots in terrestrial habitats...
Article
Questions: 1. Which plant traits and habitat characteristics best explain local above-ground persistence of vascular plant species and 2. Is there a trade-off between local above-ground persistence and the ability for seed dispersal and below-ground persistence in the soil seed bank? Locations: 845 long-term permanent plots in terrestrial habitats...
Article
Most data mining techniques have rarely been used in ecology. To address the specific needs of scientists analysing data from a plant trait database developed during the LEDA project, a web-based data mining tool has been developed. This paper presents the DIONE data miner and the project it has been developed in. It addresses the nature of plant t...
Article
Full-text available
Question: Is raising groundwater tables successful as a wetland restoration strategy? Location: Kennemer dunes, The Netherlands; Moksloot dunes, The Netherlands and Bullock Creek fen, New Zealand. Methods: Generalizations were made by analysing soil dynamics and the responsiveness of integrative plant traits on moisture, nutrient regime and seed di...
Article
Full-text available
Despite recent modelling approaches integrating the effects of niche-based processes and dispersal-based processes on local plant species composition, their relative importance is still not clear. We test whether the predictability of local species composition from environmental conditions is influenced by dispersal traits. We analyzed a large data...
Article
We made a comparison between life history and reproductive characteristics of a group of Dutch rare (30) and common (105) plant species, all dicotyledonous and insect-visited forbs. The traits life span, clonality, breeding system, seed production, seed dispersal, and soil seed bank longevity are considered. All trait values have been ranked accord...
Article
Full-text available
Increased insight into the factors that determine the importance of dispersal limitation on species richness and species composition is of paramount importance for conservation and restoration ecology. One way to explore the importance of dispersal limitation is to use seed-sowing experiments, but these do not enable the screening of large sets of...
Article
Full-text available
Most data mining techniques have rarely been used in ecology. To address the specific needs of scientists analysing data from a plant trait database developed during the LEDA project, a web-based data mining tool has been devel- oped. This paper presents the DIONE data miner and the project it has been developed in. It addresses the nature of plant...
Article
Full-text available
Rich calcareous fens in Slovakia are almost exclusively restricted to the Carpathian Mountains , only few remnants occur in the lowlands. Prior to major drainage schemes, the largest fens in Slo-vakia were found in the lowlands. What is left still harbours many characteristic species of fens and fen meadows, which means that these sites are somehow...
Article
Local plant communities can only function within a metacommunity context if they are connected by appropriate dispersal vectors, accommodating the transport of propagules between sites. The capacity for long-distance dispersal may be a key factor in the survival of local populations, especially in fragmented landscapes, and hence may have a large i...
Article
Dit is de zesde versie van de standaardlijst. Naast de feitelijke lijst (toegevoegd als bijlage 1) bevat deze bijdrage: criteria voor het opnemen van taxa, rode lijst 2000; gegevens over herkomst; dispersie in ruimte en tijd; ecologische groepen; veranderingen in naamgeving (zowel de wetenschappelijke als Nederlandse)
Article
Small-scale landscape elements, such as ditch banks, play an important role in preserving plant species richness in agricultural landscapes. In this study, we investigate whether the seed bank might be useful for restoring the above-ground plant species richness. We studied the vegetation and seed bank composition at six species-rich and six specie...
Article
Full-text available
Summary 1 The diversity and abundance of viable diaspores trapped at the downstream end of a 15-km lowland stream were quantified and related to five potentially predicting vari- ables: species' occurrence in the species pool, distance to the nearest stand and the life-history traits seed buoyancy, seed production and plant height. 2 From 126 sampl...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation and soil seed banks of a threatened Atlantic fen meadow community were studied using recent phytosociological records and seedling emergence from soil samples. Similarly managed but differently degraded stands that suffered different levels of species impoverishment were compared. The actual vegetation was related to a set of phytosociol...
Article
Full-text available
There is confusion in the ecological literature between seed dormancy and persistence in soil. Some ecologists seem to assume that dormancy is necessary for persistence, while others imply that dormancy and persistence are virtually synonymous. Here, we show that there is no close relationship between dormancy and persistence and, incidentally, tha...
Article
Full-text available
EXTENDED ABSTRACT To provide an open European-wide database of plant traits relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in changing European landscapes, the LEDA Traitbase project was recently started. Its aim is to support different users including land use managers (from farmers to landscape planners), environmental agencies...
Article
Full-text available
Soil seed bank longevity is still not completely understood. Yet, data collected for individual species give insight in the distribution of longevity within plant communities. Comparisons between communities can be made with a special focus on the seed longevity of character species within communities. At the national level of the flora of the Neth...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal and life span of individual plant species within five plant communities were assessed to obtain a characterization of these communities in this respect. Such a characterization is important in the context of restoration and maintenance. The most frequent species of five communities were ranked in eight classes according to their level of...
Article
Soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation of Cirsio dissecti-Molinietum, a threatened species-rich fen-meadow community, were studied in two, closely located Dutch stands. In the spring soil cores of 10 cm depth were drilled then subdivided into equal upper and lower segments. After concentration by washing over a fine sieve samples were spread thi...
Article
1 Changes in the species composition of the soil seed bank were determined in a dry and a more species-rich wet chronosequence. Each sequence represented a 25-year hayfield succession following cessation of fertilizer application in the Drentse A Nature Reserve (NL), where the vegetation has been studied since 1972. 2 The number of seeds of many la...
Article
One of the risk factors of plants may be short-lived seed in the soil. Data on seed banks were classified into three types i.e. transient, short-term and long-term persistent. Often more types could be recorded for one single species. Therefore, all records for a species were incorporated into one seed longevity index. Linking the index to the data...
Article
The soil seed bank composition was determined at four sites in the dune slack ‘Koegelwieck’ on the Dutch Wadden Sea island of Terschelling. At three different sites in the slack, where sod-cutting experiments down to the mineral sand had been carried out, the established vegetation and seed bank were assessed after 5, 9 and 39 yr of undisturbed dev...
Article
1. The association between seed size and habitat shade within the British flora was investigated using a data set of seed masses, life histories and quantitative measures of habitat shade for 504 species; the association between seed size and seed longevity was investigated using a data set of seed masses, life histories and seed longevities for 30...
Article
1. We investigated the vertical distribution of seeds in the soil, using data from nine studies in five European countries. We discovered significant correlations between seed shape and distribution in the soil. 2. The classification of the longevity of seeds of plant species has been improved by the introduction of a ‘longevity index’, expressing...
Article
Seed longevity of plant species is an important topic in restoration management, and little is known about the effects of environmental conditions on seed survival and longevity under natural conditions. Therefore, the effect of groundwater level on the survival of seeds in the soil seed bank of a natural grassland community was investigated. Large...
Article
1. Effects of high nutrient input on the longevity and viability of buried seed are examined. Seeds of 17 fen-meadow species were buried in nylon mesh bags at four sites in the Netherlands and one site in Great Britain in plots to which N, P, K fertilizers are applied. Prior to burial germination tests were conducted on the seeds of each species. T...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies carried out during these last few years have focused on the factors influencing plant diversity in species-rich grasslands. This is due to the fact that these ecosystems, among the most diversified in temperate climates, are extremely threatened; in some areas, they have almost disappeared. The re-establishment of these habitats implie...
Conference Paper
Seed dispersal and seed banks are crucial to the restoration of:plant communities by nature management authorities. Knowledge of seed dispersal and seed survival of species with nature conservation interest is necessary to anticipate measures to enhance their establishment. The interpretation of the results from seed bank and seed dispersal researc...
Article
With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee et al. 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson et el. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch plant communities, considering the frequencies o...
Article
As a reaction to the ongoing deterioration of nature conservation interest in The Netherlands, an offensive nature strategy was formulated in the 1990 Nature Policy Plan. In this Plan, target communities and target plant species are mentioned. For the 'Drentse A brook valley system', target communities were assessed by the Province of Drenthe. In t...
Article
1 Using the data in a recently published seed bank database for north-west Europe, we describe how a species’ seed bank behaviour can be characterized by a single ‘longevity index’, and investigate how representative the information in the database is of the north-west European flora. We also test the hypotheses that seeds of short-lived species ar...
Article
1. Soil seed banks of 38 grassland sites in western Europe were sampled and species composition was determined. All sites differed in geographical region, soil type and intensity of management. 2. Relationships between the composition of the seed bank, the established vegetation, and soil and management parameters were analysed using different ordi...
Article
SUMMARY The role of seed dispersal by mowing machinery in the invasion into a hayfield under restoration management was investigated for the annual hemiparasite Rhinanthus angustifolius (C.C. Gmelin). Therefore, all plants of R. angustifolius in a hayfield were removed before seed production in 1994. As R. angustifolius seeds rarely survive for mor...
Article
Dry alvar grasslands on limestone on the Baltic island of Öland, SE Sweden, are very species-rich as long as the traditional agricultural exploitation of grazing and fire wood collection continues. After abandonment, encroachment of Juniperus communis starts and a closed woodland can develop within 100 yr. A chronosequence, representing a successio...
Article
1. The seedling emergence method for assessing the size of the seed bank is improved by washing soil samples on a fine sieve and spreading the thus concentrated samples in a 3-5 mm thick layer on sterilized potting compost. 2. The method largely increases the number of seedlings that emerge as compared to unconcentrated samples. Hand-sorting afterw...
Article
We studied the earthworm distribution in a permanent polder grassland by making two detailed surveys in 1983 and in 1990. Geostatistical procedures were used to investigate the changes in species composition and to determine the dispersal rate. Attention was focused on two soil survey variables closely related to earth-worm distribution, the thickn...