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 Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>