It's a hidden global change: away from the public eye, residues of medicines in water have been causing increasing disruption. They can kill aquatic animals, and play havoc with their food web and reproductive cycle. An international team of researchers led by the NIOO makes an urgent case for better wastewater treatment and biodegradable pharmaceuticals.
Massive growth of submerged aquatic plants can be a nuisance, especially in summer. It's up to water managers to limit the inconvenience for swimmers, boats and fishermen in a way that is both responsible and cost-effective. Michiel Verhofstad defended his PhD thesis this week on the 'root' causes of the problem, and how best to tackle it.
Fields and meadows provide a range of key services, as long as the soil is healthy. A group of researchers and companies will study how farmlands can be returned to multifunctionality.
WAGENINGEN – The Netherlands Institute of Ecology is to have its own 'food forest'. Researchers and students have begun planting a variety of fruits, vegetables and other edible plant species in the grounds around the NIOO building. No fertilizers are being used: the principles of a natural forest apply. In the future, fruits from the agroforest will be served in the NIOO canteen.