Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increased dampness causes vegetation change

14.11.2005


The Dutch dune area has dried out at a number of locations as a result of water extraction and drainage of adjacent polder areas. Wildlife managers are searching for favourable locations to restore the natural environment to the original wet dune valleys. Chris Bakker has compiled a number of characteristics that a dune valley must satisfy for a successful restoration project to be carried out.



Chris Bakker investigated dune valleys in Zuid Kenemerland National Park. He discovered that the restoration of plant growth in nutrient-poor, wet dune valleys set off a chain reaction with respect to changes in the quantity of dead plants, responses of individual plants and the species composition of the vegetation.

Changes in the water level were found to have a direct and major impact on the ecosystems. First of all plants submerged by water for the first time die. Then the increased water level influences the plant growth in three different ways: Firstly a high water level is highly favourable for the germination and establishment of plants from wet dune valleys. Secondly at some locations seepage water that is rich in chalk and iron returns to the surface. As a result of this the nutrient phosphate is stored in chemical compounds that cannot be accessed by the majority of plants. Therefore only typical dune plants, which use phosphate very sparingly, can grow at these locations. Finally the water can easily transport seeds from other populations, thus facilitating the spread of species.


The conditions for germination and establishment are relatively favourable for all plants following the development of open areas as a result of flooding or if the top layer in wet dune valleys is removed. It seems to be a question of ’first come first served’. Therefore the order in which plant species arrive in the opened up areas and the sizes of their populations, can strongly influence the effect of restoration projects on the species composition.

Dried up dunes

The Dutch dune area is particularly important for water extraction and is of international importance from the viewpoint of nature conservation. The water extraction has resulted in a considerable drying out with negative consequences for the wildlife value. At present the water extraction in a number of dune areas is being strongly reduced, which in combination with heavy winter rainfall has resulted in the increased dampness of the dune valleys.

Therefore the results of Bakker’s research are being used to select favourable locations for the restoration of wet dune valleys. A favourable location must satisfy a number of characteristics. Prior to the increased dampness a low overgrowth must be present. There must be a water connection with populations of the target species and the valley must flood for a part of the year. Finally after the increase in dampness, there must be an increase in the amount of seepage water that reaches the surface and is rich in iron and chalk. If all of these characteristics are satisfied there is a maximum chance of the original characteristic plants returning in the nutrient-poor, wet dune valleys.

Chris Bakker’s research was sponsored by Technology Foundation STW.

Dr. Chris Bakker | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_6HQBN8_Eng

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation

18.01.2017 | Information Technology

Reducing household waste with less energy

18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>